The coronavirus cabinet will meet on Tuesday to decide on lifting some restrictions on entry to the country in order to enable Israelis to arrive ahead of the March 23 elections so that they are able to exercise their basic right to vote.
Israel closed its ports of entry in January in efforts to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants that could undermine some of the achievements of the vaccine roll out that began in December. More than half the country's population of 9 million has received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and about 3.4 million of them also got the second booster shot.
Ministers will be asked to approve raising the number of people allowed to enter the country through the Ben Gurion International Airport from 2,000 a day to 3,000 with an option of increasing that number further to allow 7,000 according to Health Ministry guidelines.
Israelis arriving will be asked to present proof of vaccination, of recovery from COVID or a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arriving.
Those who have not received vaccines or had not already recovered from the virus will be offered the option of quarantine in a government run hotel or being provided with an electronic surveillance gadget that will monitor their movements and ensure they adhere to quarantine regulations.
A pilot program that began on Monday provided hundreds of people who arrived in the country, with a surveillance bracelet.
A government committee set up to decide who can enter the country because of humanitarian reasons, has come under fire for allegedly preferring requests made by ultra-Orthodox Israelis over others. Ministers will decide on Tuesday, whether the committee that was assigned by Minister of Transportation Miri Regev will be cancelled.
On Monday the coronavirus cabinet voted to allow the return to school of students in grades 7 to 10 as of Sunday in cities with low morbidity or where at least 70% of the adult population has been inoculated against coronavirus.
Ministers also agreed to allow restaurants and event halls and hotels on Sunday under certain restrictions.
According to the outline, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve patrons outdoors. Green Pass holders - those who had received both vaccine doses or recovered from COVID-19 - will be able to dine indoors as well, enter event halls, conferences and tourist attractions.
Public gatherings will be limited to 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, except for in virus hotspots where businesses will be capped at 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.
First published: 09:11 , 03.02.21