The city of Tel Aviv on Wednesday in an unprecedented move decided to ban all unvaccinated school and kindergarten teachers from entering educational facilities from next week.
The government in the past mulled passing a similar, nationwide legislation but it was ultimately put on hold after running into a series of judicial hurdles and a threat of a strike from Teacher's Union.
Tel Aviv, therefore, becomes the first city in the country to approve the contentious measure.
According to the decision, starting Sunday, all teaching staff at schools and kindergartens - as well as administrative workers - will be obliged to present a Green Pass at the entrance to the facility or a negative coronavirus test taken at least 72 hours prior.
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 added it may use "all the tools at its disposal" to maintain the health of students and staff.
In Tel Aviv, more than 50 kindergartens and schools are currently closed due to members of staff or children being exposure to verified COVID carriers.
In a letter addressed to the educational staff, the municipality said it encourages vaccination or testing [of the staff] and focuses its effort on reducing the infection rate across the city's schools and kindergartens. "Unfortunately, not all workers are vaccinated and infections in educational institutions have been rising over the last two weeks," the letter said.
Attorney Tel Kadesh, who represents Tel Aviv parents in a collective lawsuit that demands all staff in the city's education system be vaccinated or tested, welcomed the decision. He wondered, however, how it would be enforced and what punitive measures will be used by the municipality.