1,500 officers and drones: Israel ramps up virus rules enforcement

Police say as part of new enforcement campaign, voted on by ministers earlier, officers will work to enforce mask and Green Pass mandates as well as mandatory quarantine; in some cases, drones will alert violators from above

Gilad Cohen|
Israel on Tuesday officially began its new campaign meant to enforce coronavirus rules and health restrictions, and it apparently includes deployment of over 1,500 police officers and even the use of drones.
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  • The country rolled out one of the world's most successful vaccination campaigns starting late last year, but in recent weeks has been battling a surge in new cases driven by the delta variant. Authorities have ramped up travel restrictions and restored mask mandates for indoor settings among other curbs.
    2 View gallery
    מבצע אכיפת מסכות של המשטרה בגרנד קניון בחיפה
    מבצע אכיפת מסכות של המשטרה בגרנד קניון בחיפה
    Police officers enforce virus rules at a mall in Haifa
    (Photo: Shamir Elbaz )
    Last week the governent voted to step up enforcement efforts across the country in the face of continued violations of health guidelines.
    As part of the new campaign, more than 1,500 police officers will enforce the mask mandate in confined public spaces, coronavirus HQs will be re-established in each district of the country and administrative and staff officers will be allocated for the mission.
    Police have identified three main tasks of the new enforcement campaign, the first of which is enforcing the mask mandate. The police stressed the information campaign on the issue of masks is now over and officers will only work to identify and penalize the violators.
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    צפו: רחפן משטרתי כורז למתרחצים בחוף בראשון לציון
    צפו: רחפן משטרתי כורז למתרחצים בחוף בראשון לציון
    Drones being used to identify health violators in Rishon Lezion
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    The second task is enforcement of the Green Pass mandate. This will include surprise visits by police officers to malls, night clubs and weddings. As part of the mandate, vaccination or recovery certificates must be presented at entrances to many public facilities.
    The third task is enforcing mandatory quarantine and punish violators. On Monday, police made visits to 9,800 of the 18,000 individuals currently under mandatory quarantine.
    In addition, temporary police officers have been recruited for the mission and an attempt was even made to recruit retirees. Drones will also be used to monitor and alert people from above in case they have violated an order. Helicopters and undercover cops will also assist the forces.
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