Israel’s COVID-19 quarantine shortened to 7 days

Written by on July 13, 2021

The isolation period in Israel was shortened to seven days, the coronavirus cabinet approved on Tuesday night, as some 745 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Monday, marking the highest number since March, but the serious cases remained low.

In addition, the cabinet decided to transfer the responsibility for the enforcement of the coronavirus regulations to the Ministry of Internal Security.

Prior to the decision, those who were required to isolate – after coming into contact with a verified case or after returning from abroad – needed to quarantine for two weeks which could be shortened to ten days with two negative PCR tests at the beginning and the end of the period.

Now people are going to be able to take the second test on the seventh day and to be released when they receive the result.

“In order to increase the public’s cooperation and trust, the cabinet decided to allow those who quarantine to undergo a test on the seventh day of their isolation, wait for a negative result and then be released,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. “At the same time, we will increase enforcement on violations in this matter. People who go out without a test will be fined NIS 5,000.”

“The goal of this decision is to increase the number of people respecting the isolation’s requirements,” he added. “We set measures that the public can meet.”

“We are committed to doing everything to protect public health with the minimum of disruption to daily life,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz wrote in a tweet. “I ask each of you to act with personal responsibility, and those who need to isolate – just stay home.”

קיצרנו את ימי הבידוד ל-7 ימים, בכפוף לבדיקה שלילית ביום השביעי. המהלך נועד להגביר את שיתוף הפעולה של הציבור עם ההנחיות. אנחנו מחוייבים לעשות הכל כדי לשמור על בריאות הציבור, במינימום פגיעה בשגרת החיים. אני מבקש מכל אחד מכם לנהוג באחריות אישית, ומי שנדרש לבידוד – פשוט להשאר בבית.

— Nitzan Horowitz نيتسان هوروفيتس ניצן הורוביץ (@NitzanHorowitz) July 13, 2021

The cabinet convened to discuss Israel’s next moves against the outbreak.

Among the measures the ministers were expected to examine were the reintroduction of a green pass system and a plan to let vaccinated tourists in the country.

“We believe that there are three principles to follow in continuing to deal with the coronavirus,” Bennett said at the beginning of the meeting, stressing that it is important to focus on how to open as opposed to how to close, to give sufficient time before new measures come into effect to give the public time to prepare and increase their trust, and to maintain close ties with businesses to understand their needs and adjust the government’s decisions.  

Until a few weeks ago, the green pass was granted to fully vaccinated and recovered individuals or children too young to get jabbed who had undergone a PCR test in the previous 72 hours, giving them access to specific venues and activities.

According to Israeli media, the Health Ministry recommended the cabinet to require a green pass for entering any indoor event or venue with more than 100 people, including restaurants, theaters, synagogues and weddings.

As far as the plan to reopen the country’s borders to foreign nationals, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov was expected to present a comprehensive outline to the cabinet.

Israel has been closed to foreign nationals for more than a year, with limited exceptions.

Vaccinated tourists from countries with low morbidity were supposed to be allowed in starting on July 1, but the date was postponed to August 1 amid the increase of cases.

According to the new outline, those who are inoculated with a vaccine recognized by the US FDA or the EU EMA will be able to enter with just a negative PCR test, while individuals jabbed with other vaccines will undergo a rapid serological test upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, with results in 15 minutes, to confirm the presence of antibodies in their blood.

The goal was to open up on August 1, but the decision will depend on Israel’s level of morbidity, Razvozov said.

Some 745 new COVID-19 cases were registered in Israel on Monday, and another 496 as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

While the number of new virus carriers marks the record since March, the serious morbidity – which the government considered the most crucial parameter to monitor – remained limited.

Some 45 patients were in serious conditions as of Tuesday, two less than 24 hours before. In April, with a similar number of active cases – around 4,800 – there were some 270 such patients.

As anticipated by the Health Ministry’s Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash in a press conference on Monday, the ministry updated the data regarding the number of tests performed daily in the last month, after it was discovered that a significant number of negative PCRs performed at Ben-Gurion airport had been counted twice.

While the previous data showed that in the past weekdays, the number of tests performed was often higher than 70,000, after the correction, the figure stands at around 50,000-55,000. As a consequence, also the rate of tests returning a positive result increased from 0.6-0.8% to 1-1.3%.

Originally posted =>

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


House of Prayer

Current track