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Israel drops indoor mask requirement as daily-COVID cases decline

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Tel Aviv | June 15, 2021 7:14:33 AM IST
Israel has allowed people to go maskless indoors from Tuesday, as the coronavirus cases in the country are decreasing.

Times of Israel reported that the Health Ministry announced that from today the requirement for masks to be worn indoors will be lifted, marking the end of one of the only major coronavirus restrictions remaining in Israel.

However, the Ministry said that some people have to wear masks to combat COVID spread. These include workers or guests who have not been vaccinated or recovered at welfare institutions, long-term care facilities or homes for the elderly, individuals en route to quarantine, and travelers on a flight. It also did not address schools.

Earlier, the Ministry had said that masks would still be required because the majority of those under 16 have yet to be vaccinated.If the declining trend in morbidity continues and the campaign to vaccinate 12- to-15-year-olds, which began last Sunday, succeeds, there would be another discussion to consider dropping the mask requirement in schools as well, the Ministry said.

On June 13, Israel kicked off its vaccine drive for children aged 12 to 15, with 600,000 eligible for inoculation.

The move came six months after Israel began its vaccination drive for adults, and after the US Food and Drug Administration okayed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the age group.

At the peak of the pandemic, there were 88,000 active cases in the country and 1,228 serious cases; as of Monday, there were 212 active infections and 29 people in serious condition, according to the Times of Israel. (ANI)

 
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