Health officials on Monday made their case for the government to issue "green passports" to Israelis who had been vaccinated, allowing them to travel freely abroad and attend mass events, among other benefits.
The debate was held at the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and was attended by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and coronavirus czar, Prof. Nachman Ash.
According to the Health Ministry's outline, the passports will be given to Israelis a week after they receive the second coronavirus vaccine shot and will be in place for six months. Alternatively, a similar passport, which would be in effect for 72 hours, could be issued to those who had undergone a coronavirus test, which came back negative.
"The passport is important for three reasons: herd immunity, a protective layer for going back to our daily routine and reopening of the economy," said Prof. Ash at the meeting.
"In order for us to achieve herd immunity in Israel, we need 70% [of the population] vaccinated. We want to use the green passport to manage the routine as the number of those recovering [from the virus] increases."
The passport exempts its owner from mandatory quarantine and could be downloaded from either the Health Ministry or HMOs' websites. It can be downloaded in English in order to ease on the passport carrier during international travel.
Israelis who weren't vaccinated but who recently recovered from COVID-19 or tested positive for antibodies would also be able to apply for the passport.
According to the outline, the green passport will not be valid within the education system, workplaces, street shops, public transport and places of worship. It will be valid, however, at mass cultural and sporting events, conferences, restaurants, cafes, malls, hotels, gyms and swimming pools.