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Teacher and students wear face masks in class at an elementary school in northern Israel
Photo: Nahum Segal
Teacher and students wear face masks in class at an elementary school in northern Israel

Education minister wants all schools open regardless of infection rates

Joined by local authorities chief, Yoav Galant says vaccination campaign allows Israel 'to be first out of pandemic and back to normal'; Tel Aviv to ban all unvaccinated teachers from entering educational facilities from next week

Tamar Trabelsi Hadad |
Published: 03.10.21, 22:23
Education Minister Yoav Galant on Wednesday called for all schools across Israel to reopen Sunday, regardless of local coronavirus infection rates.
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  • He was joined in his call by Haim Bibas, director of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel. At present, schools have reopened in areas with relatively low coronavirus infection rates or where a high proportion of the local population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
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    בית ספר בקריית אתא
    בית ספר בקריית אתא
    Teacher and students wear face masks in class at an elementary school in northern Israel
    (Photo: Nahum Segal)
    The Health Ministry, which has yet to comment on the call, was also asked to consider shortening quarantine for students exposed to a confirmed carrier from 10 days to five.
    Galant and Bibas called for schools to operate on a differential outline, whereby institutions would close depending on their own infections levels and not those of the local community.
    "The national vaccination campaign initiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed us to be the first in the world to exit the pandemic and return to normalcy," Galant said.
    "With the current downward trajectory in cases, we believe that we must let all students in all ages and cities return to school this Sunday. The education of Israel's children is at the top of national priorities, and therefore we call today for all students to return to schools and kindergartens."
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    יואב גלנט
    יואב גלנט
    Education Minister Yoav Galant
    (Photo: Yoav Yoavian)
    Earlier Wednesday, Tel Aviv took an unprecedented decision to ban all unvaccinated school and kindergarten teachers from entering educational facilities.
    From Sunday all teaching staff and administrative workers at the city's schools and kindergartens will have to present the Green Pass that shows they have been fully vaccinated or a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours before they can enter the facility.
    Tel Aviv Municipality said that each instance of an employee refusing to be tested or vaccinated would be examined on its own merits.
    The municipality said it will use "all the tools at its disposal" to protect the health of students and staff.
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