Israelis do not have to wear outdoor coronavirus masks anymore
Middle East

Israelis do not have to wear outdoor coronavirus masks anymore

JERUSALEM – In the latest addition to the measures that ensure Israel’s return to relatively normal condition, the mandatory rule of wearing face masks outdoors has been withdrawn. Boosted by a mass-vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools have also reopened.

With almost 54% of its 9.3 million population having received both shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Israel has logged sharp drops in contagion and cases.

The police-enforced wearing of protective masks outdoors, ordered a year ago, was scrapped from Sunday, but the Health Ministry said the requirement still applied for indoor public spaces and urged citizens to keep masks to hand.

With Israeli kindergarteners, elementary and high school students already back in class, middle school pupils who had been kept at home or attended class sporadically returned to pre-pandemic schedules.

The education ministry said that schools should continue to encourage personal hygiene, ventilaton of classrooms and to maintain social distancing as much distance as possible during breaks and lessons.

Israel counts East Jerusalem Palestinians among its population and has been administering the vaccines there.

The 5.2 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have been receiving limited supplies of vaccines provided by Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the global COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme and China.

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