The Israeli authorities have reimposed an indoor mask requirement as the COVID-19 cases surge in Israel. A top health official warned the spread of the coronavirus was accelerating earlier. But on Friday the decision was made and it was announced that people have been asked to wear both indoors and at mass gatherings outdoors.
Quoting Health Ministry, Times of Israel reported that the renewed mandate took effect at noon in all enclosed spaces and except for permanent places of residence, a day after the head of a team appointed to tackle coronavirus, it would be reinstated early next week amid a recent resurgence in cases, said czar Nachman Ash. However, last week on June 15 the mandate and restriction were lifted.
According to a Health Ministry’s statement, there are categories of people who are exempted from the restrictions which include children under seven, people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask and anyone alone in an enclosed space, two workers who work regularly together in the same room, and anyone exercising.
It has also been urged by the authorities to those who are at risk groups or who are not vaccinated against coronavirus to avoid gatherings. It was further reported by TOI that the ministry has directed Israelis to wear face masks at mass gatherings outdoors.
Israel kicked off its vaccination drive on June 13, for children aged 12 to 15, with 600,000 eligible for vaccination. Amid the peak of the pandemic, there were 88,000 active cases in the country and 1,228 serious cases; as of Friday, the number of active cases further rose to 872, while the number of serious cases nationwide remained steady at 26, reported the Times of Israel.
After six months this move came after Israel began its vaccination drive for adults, and after the US Food and Drug Administration allowed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the age group.