Since Sunday, Israel’s outdoor mask requirement has officially been lifted. People are still required to wear masks in enclosed public spaces; however, the removed restriction, in place for just over a year, is proof of the ample progress being made towards extinguishing the coronavirus crisis. Sunday also saw a return to regular schooling. Youth are still required to wear masks indoors, but capsule classrooms have been fully eliminated.
Just about five million people in Israel have received the double dose of the vaccine, with the campaign’s next steps questioning whether children should be vaccinated or not. As of now, children under 16 are not allowed; however, it’s believed that within the coming months, 12-15-year-olds will be able to receive the vaccine. The rate of infection continues to drop, now at 0.7%, with less than 100 cases diagnosed on Friday, and a death toll standing at 6,315.
As the Israeli economy returns to the “normal,” businesses, venues, restaurants are open and the country is bubbling with action. The skies are back to business as well, despite the need for a lengthy process to either arrive or depart from Israel. Only citizens who have been fully vaccinated can leave without special approval.
While it feels like the country might be reaching the “light at the end of the tunnel,” Chezy Levy, Director-General of the Ministry of Health, offered a reminder that Israel is not yet fully in the clear. “There is a huge drop in morbidity, but my advice is that where people congregate very closely together they should wear a mask. We must behave correctly in order not to scuttle the progress made.”