The Be'er Sheva District Labor Court ruled Monday that the Education Ministry must bar teachers who refuse to wear a face mask in class from teaching students in person.
The judge wrote in his ruling that since only youths aged 12 and over are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, most of the country’s elementary school students remain unprotected against the pathogen, especially as the highly infectious Delta variant was raging throughout the country.
The court also ruled that even those who are fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask since the vaccine does not prevent further spread of the virus.
The ruling came as part of a lawsuit filed by a teacher against the school she was teaching at after she refused to wear a face mask in class, claiming she was exempt from doing so due to her asthma.
The presiding judge rejected the teacher's lawsuit, who had resigned in the meantime, and denied her request to NIS 60,000 in compensation.
The court further stated that while the teacher did bring up several important issues regarding individual rights in the midst of a pandemic, the nationwide mask mandate still applied to those with asthma — which make up 5% of the population — since the Health Ministry did not see fit to grant that group an exemption from wearing a mask.
The Education Ministry, on its part, said that the teacher has chosen to resign even though she was given the opportunity to work remotely to allow her to continue teaching without a mask, even though she did not present any medical proof she was exempt from wearing a mask in indoor public spaces.