עומס במתחם בדיקות בתל אביב
People waiting in line to get tested for COVID in Tel Aviv
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Antigen home COVID testing kits

Israel to distribute free COVID rapid testing kits amid Omicron onslaught

Government to distribute some 2.5 million antigen tests to geriatric hospitals, as well as some 450,000 kits to needy families under Welfare Ministry's care, and 25,000 seniors; ministers also mull distribution of tests to essential workers

Itamar Eichner, Adir Yanko |
Published: 01.18.22, 15:54
Israel will start handing out free antigen rapid testing kits in order to reduce the number of people entering isolation and keep the economy open amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • The agreement was formulated by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and will see the state distribute some 30-25 million tests starting next week, with an emphasis on at-risk and needy populations.
    4 View gallery
    אילוס אילוסטרציה בדיקת בדיקה קורונה אנטיגן
    אילוס אילוסטרציה בדיקת בדיקה קורונה אנטיגן
    Antigen home COVID testing kits
    (Photo: AFP)
    “In the daily situation assessment held Tuesday morning, the prime minister emphasized that certain considerations guided the method of the kits’ distribution... In order to allow the economy to keep functioning and maintain the public’s health,” the Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday.
    The new agreement will also see about 450,000 needy families under the care of the Welfare Ministry receive 20 testing kits each, while some 25,000 seniors will receive three testing kits a week for a period of three weeks.
    4 View gallery
    עומס במתחם בדיקות בתל אביב
    עומס במתחם בדיקות בתל אביב
    People waiting in line to get tested for COVID in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Children up to the age of 18, meanwhile, will be entitled to receive six testing kits in the first two weeks of distribution.
    Geriatric hospitals and nursing homes will receive 2.5 million tests that will be transferred to institutions, which will distribute the kits autonomously between staffers and patients in accordance with the guidelines of the Health Ministry.
    The government is also currently examining the number of tests needed for some 350,000 schoolchildren, who will most likely receive the kits from their respective educational institutions, as well as the distribution of tests to essential workers.
    4 View gallery
    בדיקות קורונה לילדים בירושלים
    בדיקות קורונה לילדים בירושלים
    A child undergoing a COVID test in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AFP)
    “The government is looking for any way to help Israeli citizens beat the Omicron wave. Therefore we have decided to transfer free tests to Israeli citizens, students and the general population," said Bennett.
    "In addition, [on Monday] we announced a shortening of the compulsory isolation to five days. Instead of closures, we are working to find solutions in order to keep the economy as functional as possible,” he added.
    4 View gallery
    נפתלי בנט
    נפתלי בנט
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: Noam Rivkin Fenton)
    Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said: "We are committed to providing all the tools to maintain the health of every person in Israel, along with the preservation of the economy, education and life alongside the coronavirus.”
    Finance Minister Lieberman, added: "The decision to grant free tests to Israeli citizens, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations, along with shortening the isolation period to five days… are two important decisions that will allow us to live alongside COVID.”





    Talkbacks for this article 0