Israel rejects health officials' proposal to scrap some Green Pass curbs

Ministers approve the removal of restrictions for museums and libraries to allow school trips; new Green Pass to go into effect on Thursday Health Ministry site crashes; Bennett says country must not be complicate as COVID morbidity appears to decline

Nina Fox, Moran Azulay|
Israel's coronavirus cabinet on Sunday rejected a proposal made by Health Ministry officials to scrap some Green Pass restrictions if coronavirus morbidity continues to decline.
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  • Ministers also rejected a proposal to move from Green Pass restrictions to the so-called "purple badge" mandate for outdoor restaurant spaces, gyms, outdoor attractions, swimming pools.
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    מציגים את התו הירוק במקומות בילוי
    מציגים את התו הירוק במקומות בילוי
    The Green Pass; Israelis line up outside a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination hub in Tel Aviv ahead of the new Green Pass coming into effect
    (Photo: Gettyimages, Moti Kimchi)
    Purple badge restrictions mean anyone can access the locations, provided that basic social distancing rules are enforced and the number of customers allowed at the same time is limited to prevent overcrowding.
    However, the cabinet did approve the loosening of Green Pass restrictions in museums and libraries to allow school trips to them, as well as making the certificate unnecessary for the lending of books.
    It was also decided that public venues will be forced to scan the barcode on the new Green Pass documents upon entry starting on Tuesday.
    Opening the first coronavirus meeting in over a month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel has begun to see the first signs that the current coronavirus infection wave is under control.
    "My friends, good news. We started to push back the Delta [COVID variant]," he said.
    However, Bennett said that this is a "dangerous time" to be complacent.
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    נפתלי בנט בקבינט הקורונה
    נפתלי בנט בקבינט הקורונה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during the coronavirus cabinet meeting on Sunday
    (Photo: GPO)
    "Just as the virus is on the retreat, we must not let it return," he said. "We must keep managing the situation closely, not let the public think that masks are coming off - but the opposite."
    Earlier on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced a three-day extension to the Green Pass after users reported experiencing technical difficulties in issuing the updated document through the ministry's website and mobile app.
    The new Green Pass, which serves as proof of vaccination against COVID-19, was supposed to come into effect Sunday morning, effectively barring 1.9 million doubly vaccinated Israelis from entering public facilities unless they can present a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours, or a negative rapid antigen test from the previous 24 hours.
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