Presenting Israel's COVID-19 immunization certificate, dubbed the "Green Pass", senior health officials warned on Thursday that forging the certificate will carry serious punishments and even jail time.
"We met today with senior police officials to discuss uncompromising enforcement and punishment, both for those forging the Green Pass and those using [the forged document]," Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Hezi Levy said.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein also joined Levy's warning.
"Whoever thinks this is a child's play and get himself a certificate despite not getting vaccinated will be caught and will end up in jail," he said.
Levy also added that people who have recovered from coronavirus will also be eligible to receive the vaccine. He added that the ministry has yet to decide whether to give one or two doses to COVID convalescents.
Edelstein introduced the benefits handed to Green Pass holders starting Sunday.
Edelstein also added that "soon there will be workplaces where people who work face-to-face with customers on a regular basis will have to be vaccinated or undergo tests every 48 hours". He then went on to slam spreaders of fake news about the vaccines.
"The vaccines are a national mission of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, there are people who lack a moral compass and repeatedly attack the inoculation drive and spread fake news," Edelstein said.
"They make up stories to sow doubt and prevent people, the citizens of Israel, from coming to get vaccinated.
However, Edelstein reserved that Israel will not compel its citizens to get vaccinated and will not impose personal sanctions against those choosing not to do so.
Edelstein asked Israelis who have received both vaccine doses to continue wearing face masks in public.
"We will open events that will be attended by hundreds of people. We want to see event halls, synagogue and other events where everyone is wearing a mask," the minister said. "There is no other way to safeguard our health. Anyone who wants professional explanations will be able to get them from doctors."