Israelis will continue to wear face masks indoors through the winter despite the COVID-19 pandemic receding across the country, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman said Thursday morning.
"We think about what can be eased. We would love to ease [restrictions], but on the other hand, learning from the beginning of the [fourth infection] wave, some must be left in place so that there won't be another outbreak," Ash told the Ynet studio in an interview.
"So masks will stay on us indoors through the entire winter. It's a simple and important precaution to avoid infections, the flu also, for example. The Green Pass will also continue to be with us for the foreseeable future," he added, referring to a document that grants access to public venues for those who are either inoculated against COVID-19, or have recovered from it, or have recently tested negative.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported Thursday morning that 1,732 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus out of 100,760 tests carried out over the previous 24 hours. The country's infection rate stood at below 2% for the fifth successive day with 1.73%.
Israeli hospitals were treating 403 COVID-19 patients in serious condition, 168 of whom were connected to ventilators.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, 7,959 people succumbed to complications of the disease, two of them on Wednesday alone which could change due to the delayed reporting of deaths.
Israel's COVID-19 vaccine booster shot campaign continued to see tepid turnout compared to recent weeks as the country's coronavirus outbreak continued to abate.
Ministry data show that just 13,274 Israelis have received their third coronavirus vaccine dose on Wednesday. Since the beginning of October, nearly 387,000 Israelis have received the third vaccine dose, and almost 3.8 million Israelis have been vaccinated with three doses in total.
In addition, 3,281 people received their first vaccine dose on Wednesday. Since the beginning of the month, 72,825 Israelis have received their first jab.