Photo: Flash90

Israel certifies Green Pass until year’s end

Validation of Israel’s “Green Pass” certificate held by fully-vaccinated individuals has been extended to the end of 2021, from the previous limitation to just 6 months after inoculation.

“In light of the decline of morbidity and in view of the fact the vaccine appears to protect us at least until the end of the year, we have decided to extend the validity of the green label for vaccinated and recovering patients until December 2021,” announced Israel’s Health Ministry Director-General Professor Hezy Levy, under instructions from Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

Over 80% of all eligible Israelis have received both shots of the Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE vaccine, as part of the country’s world-leading “Back to Life” COVID-19 roll-out that was launched in December 2020.  Initially that meant the at-risk population who were first to be administered the vaccine faced “expiration” of their Green Passes and possible third, booster shots as soon as next month.

Professor Levy nevertheless warned that the Israeli public “must still be careful and still maintain caution, masks in enclosed spaces and keeping distance, as there is no complete information about the effectiveness of the vaccine in protection against some of the other variants.”

In addition, the Ministerial Committee for Coping with Coronavirus has approved Ministry of Health proposals for additional relaxation of government measures to curb the Coronavirus.

According to a joint announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Health, the new guidelines will take effect tomorrow and remain in place until at least 19 May, subject to further assessment.

The number of people permitted to gather indoors will be raised to 50, while up to 500 individuals will be able to congregate outdoors.

Gyms, sports facilities, swimming pools and indoor attractions will be now open to everyone – with or without “Green Passes” – as long as a ratio of one person per 7 meters is not exceeded.

It will also be easier to commute on public transportation. Limits on the number of passengers riding in taxis have fully been lifted, while it is no longer necessary to reserve train tickets prior to travel.

The latest relaxation of curbs against the pandemic come as just not a single new infections was diagnosed over the past 24 hours. Overall, 6,370 Israelis died of the disease.