The mask is no longer mandatory in Israel, in open spaces. The mask remains mandatory indoors.
One year after the mandatory use of masks was imposed, the Israelis began taking off their masks outdoors. With more than half of the population fully vaccinated, Israeli authorities have lifted the obligation to wear a mask in open spaces starting this Sunday, April 18. The mask must be worn indoors.
Israel gives the impression that it is returning to normal pre-pandemic life, at least if we look beyond the borders. The elimination of masks in open spaces coincides with the lifting of the last restrictions in the education system: the return of all primary school students to the classroom.
The mask remains mandatory inside
The challenge now facing the Israeli authorities is to ensure that citizens continue to abide by the rules of physical distance and protection indoors. "We all need to carry a mask in our pocket to use when neededWarned the national coordinator against the pandemic, doctor Nachman Ash.
The vaccination certificate is the main tool available to those responsible for public health. Based on this, the immunized can have access to hotels and inside bars, restaurants and nightclubs. At the same time, based on the vaccination certificate, the immunized can travel without having to stay in isolation to Greece or Cyprus, the first states to sign bilateral tourism agreements, provided that tourists present a negative PCR test at the destination.
Israel has achieved herd immunity
Currently, according to figures reported by the authorities, 54% of the population of Israel (approximately 9.3 million people) received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine - BioNtech, the only one administered in this country. At the same time, 10% of the population is naturally immunized by healing from COVID-19 infection. In conclusion, except for all children under 16 who cannot be vaccinated, Israel has managed to immunize 85% of citizens and residents who can receive the vaccine.
Experts are beginning to wonder if the so-called herd immunity has already been achieved in the Jewish state, but they are also wondering about the validity of the vaccine's effectiveness. Pfizer guarantees 91% efficiency in the first six months. The continuing decline in the infection rate, despite lifting restrictions, in all age groups, including unvaccinated minors, and the reopening of the economy suggest that Israel is adjusting to the new normal, very similar to the pre-pandemic.