The Health Ministry announced Wednesday a revision to the Green Pass mandate in shopping malls, following public outcry.
While Customers will still be required to present a Green Pass - which grants access to public venues to those considered immunized against COVID - upon entering a mall, the planned revision will see each mall manage and enforce the measures independently, while the requirement to wear bracelets differentiating between vaccinated and unvaccinated will be scrapped.
The decision to impose the Green Pass in shopping malls was made Tuesday by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz as a means to stem the potential spread of the Omicron COVID variant.
Israel's mall and shopping center lobby opposed the move, saying that marking patrons using bracelets is unreasonable and will not pass constitutional muster.
"Nobody is thinking that a mother will vaccinate her children just because they cannot enter the toy store in the mall," said Sharon Berger deputy CEO of the Happening Toys chain.
"What is going to happen when she goes to a store that isn't located at the mall and has to crowd together with everyone else, what did we achieve with this? The state is simply using the malls as a tool to put pressure on the unvaccinated."
Yossi Lagziel, CEO of Rishon Letziyon's HaZahav Mall — Israel's biggest mall, said that the new restrictions will make people hesitant to go to the mall and cause a "heavy blow" to businesses.
"At the end of the day, people will prefer street shops," he said. "Malls are a secure place that ensures restrictions are adhered to, which is something that is only done at event halls. This decision was made without any thought. It is a miserable decision that will severely hurt Israel's malls."