Essential businesses, such as food shops and pharmacies, cannot deny entry to Israelis who have not been vaccinated or recently recovered from coronavirus, a government panel ruled on Thursday.
The decision was made during a meeting of government ministries on implementation of the "Green Pass" plan. The deliberations, which began Wednesday, will continue throughout Thursday with the participation of representatives from the National Security Council, the Health Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Economy Ministry and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
Israel has said it would issue an app allowing users to link up to their data from the Health Ministry and prove if they have been vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19, in order to gain entry to leisure and entertainment facilities – such as fitness studios, restaurants, cafes and concerts among others.
The Health Ministry said that since the number of coronavirus tests is limited, presenting a recent negative test will not be accepted in those locations.
One issue which the officials have not yet decided on, is the entry of customers to pharmacies and supermarkets located inside shopping centers, which are expected to operate according to the "Green Pass" rule. One of the options that is being examined is creating a separate entry for those who have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.
"You cannot allow a person who wants to go to a concert to get tested just because they are uncomfortable getting vaccinated," a Health Ministry representative said. "You do need to give the option to those who cannot get vaccinated, such as children up to the age of 16, sick people or pregnant women in the first trimester."
As it pertains to essential workers, it appears the government will authorize employers to require their workers to be vaccinated so as not to endanger customers.
In such cases, essential workers who are not vaccinated will be required to present a negative coronavirus test every 48 hours. The government hopes this will motivate them to get vaccinated voluntarily rather than by force, through use of legislation.
Mandelblit said that it is possible to force teachers to get vaccinated, but such a move will require legislation in Knesset.
It is estimated that consultations on the outline would bleed out to early next week.
Meanwhile, government ministries are examining the possibility of vaccinating all their employees.