The Health Ministry Wednesday morning reported that 5,583 new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed on Tuesday, the second day in a row Israel records over 5,000 new daily infections.
The death toll since the start of the pandemic stands at 3,292.
Out of 40,929 patients battling the disease, 609 are in serious condition, with 154 connected to ventilators.
With 97,395 tests conducted Tuesday, the contagion rate rose to 5.7%.
The Health Ministry also reported Wednesday that more than 650,000 Israelis have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said 152,000 received their shots on Wednesday alone. "We are on our way to 1 million people vaccinated," Edelstein said. "That is how you beat the pandemic," he said.
On Tuesday, Edelstein announced that Israelis returning from abroad will no longer have to isolate themselves in state-run coronavirus quarantine hotels.
Ministers originally introduced the measure last week for Israelis returning from the UK, South Africa and Denmark over fears of a new coronavirus strain, later expanding it to all returnees from abroad.
The restriction garnered much criticism from people having to enter these hotels, with several instances of residents confronting security and IDF Home Front Command officials at the hotels over the conditions of their rooms or the efficacy of the measure.
"Everyone returning from abroad, who is allowed to enter the country, should get tested immediately and self-isolate at home for two weeks or ten days if they undergo another test on the ninth day," Edelstein said.
First published: 09:18 , 12.30.20