Israeli children will not be allowed to enter schools without presenting a negative COVID test, a senior Education Ministry official said Sunday as the system is preparing to reopen following the High Holidays.
Education Ministry Director-General Yigal Slovik told Ynet that the national education system ready to reopen following almost a month-long hiatus.
Afternoon childcare centers are set to reopen Wednesday, while Thursday the entire education system will return to usual activity as COVID-19 infection rate appears to be stable.
"We're ready for the reopening of the school year, I think it's going to be similar to September 1st", said Slovik.
He added that he trusts parents to perform home COVID tests on their children ahead of sending them back to school.
"I think we have no other way to manage the pandemic but to trust the public, trust the parents and pass on as much responsibility as possible. Not the responsibility for managing the pandemic, but the responsibility over their children.
"The responsibility for managing the pandemic and the police of quarantine is at the hands of the Health Ministry," he added.
When asked what will happen if a student arrives at school without a test, Slovik replied that no "untested" students will enter the school's premises. "In this situation, his or her parents will be informed, and they will have to come and pick him up from school."
Slovik also said he backs the decision to deny pay unvaccinated teachers who decline COVID-19 testing. "I think we do all that we can so teachers could come to school, they can be vaccinated, if they decline, then they can bring a negative COVID-19 test. If they decline both options, that's their choice."
He added the number of teachers who have declined both options currently stands at 300, and that they are well prepared to address this issue if the need arises.