Israel scraps indoor COVID-19 mask order for second time
Israel scraps indoor COVID-19 mask order for second time

Israel scraps indoor COVID-19 mask order for second time

JERUSALEM, April 20 (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday told its citizens that it could stop wearing COVID-19 masks indoors, its second such revision, after the measure was briefly dropped and then restored last year in response to a increase in cases.

The scrapping of mandatory masks in closed public places will take effect on Saturday, subject to the approval of a parliamentary oversight committee, a government statement said.

Masks will still be required by people in places with high risk of infection such as planes, hospitals and nursing homes, the statement said.

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Israelis have not had to wear masks outdoors since April 2021. Last June, the mandate for indoor masks was dropped for two weeks and restored due to an increase in the Delta variant.

The number of daily COVID-19 infections reported to Israeli health authorities has dropped to about 4,500 from more than 15,000 at the end of March.

The number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients has also dropped and stood at 222 on Tuesday compared to 296 at the end of March, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.

About 64% of Israel’s 9.4 million people are considered vaccinated, the ministry said. Israel began administering a fourth dose of the vaccine in January. Israel’s total death toll from the pandemic is 10,647 people.

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Author: Dan Williams, Editing Angus MacSwan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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