Israel lifts most COVID-19 restrictions

Israel lifts most COVID-19 restrictions
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Israel has dropped most of its coronavirus restrictions as the country’s infection rate is now below 20 cases per day.

Israel, which has been lauded as being a leader in vaccinating its citizens, dropped its Green Pass vaccine passport program on Tuesday, The New York Times reports, allowing both vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens equal access to restaurants, events and cultural activities. Restrictions on the size of gatherings have also been lifted. 

Roughly 81 percent of Israel’s adult population is fully vaccinated.

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The remaining pandemic restriction is mask requirements in close public spaces, the Times notes. Israel is currently concentrating on restricting travel in and out of the country to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“The Green Pass project was very successful,” policy chief of the Israeli government’s national coronavirus task force Tomer Lotan told the Times, noting that the low infection rates had made the program essentially redundant.

Lotan emphasized that it was especially effective in urging people aged 16 to 40 to get vaccinated, but added now “anybody who did not get vaccinated by now is probably not going to.”

Israel has extra doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to Reuters.  

In comparison to Israel's enormously successful vaccine campaign, only about 6 percent of Palestinians have received one shot of a vaccine, according to Our World in Data

Israel has maintained that it has no obligation to provide vaccine doses to Palestinians, though some officials have stated that it would be in Israel's interest to do so. The Palestinian Authority has received some doses through the COVAX World Health Organization program.