Israel on Tuesday lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, six months after the launch of the world-leading vaccination drive that has seen the daily infection rate in the country plummet to near zero.
As of Tuesday morning, Israel had 350 active COVID cases, with just four new cases diagnosed Monday from 22,360 tests, showing a positivity rate of almost 0.0%. More than 5 million people in Israel have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine out of the total population of 9 million.
The new measures mean that there will no longer be a limit on the number of people allowed to congregate in any setting, whether indoors or outside, as life largely returns to pre-pandemic times.
"This is a day of celebration," said Tomer Mor, a representative of an association of restaurant owners. "We are happy to be back serving our customers, including children, at full capacity," he said.
All Israelis, regardless of vaccination status, were also able to access all public amenities and people were no longer required maintain a distance of two meters from one another.
People were still required to wear masks in shared indoor spaces, although the Health Ministry is expected to review its position on this later this month.
Restrictions were also to remain in place for international travelers in order to prevent new variants of the virus from entering the country and spreading among its population.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a new advisory against non-essential travel and travel to countries with high morbidity, and quarantine requirements after returning from some countries will remain in place.
From Monday, Israel no longer offered the coronavirus tests required before travel and upon entry to Israel free of cost.
Health officials were expected to announce the roll-out of vaccines for young teens on Tuesday, after the inoculation was authorized for use by the American Food and Drug Association and the European Medicines Agency.
Since the start of the pandemic, 6,412 people have succumbed to the virus in Israel.