Concert attendee waits for Green Pass authorization to enter
Concert attendee waits for Green Pass authorization to enterMiriam Alster/FLASH90

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, the government authorized the extension of its use of technological means to monitor public adherence to quarantine regulations among citizens returning to Israel from abroad. The extension will expire on Wednesday. The government also cancelled Purple Tag restrictions on commercial areas and malls; the new policy will come into effect on Thursday.

From midnight on Sunday, Green Pass restrictions will only apply to areas deemed by the government as “high risk” in terms of leading to contagion – to date, weddings, parties, and clubs have been so designated.

In addition, a Green Pass must be displayed when entering a festival or other event at which food is consumed without fixed seating. These rules will not apply to restaurants, cafés, or similar venues, due to the difficulty in enforcing them, and also to the government’s recognition that Green Pass restrictions have proven ineffective in combating the spread of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus. Restaurants etc. will also no longer be required to space tables over 1.5 meters (approximately six feet) apart in outdoor seating areas.

Last week, restrictions on gatherings in enclosed areas of over 50 people were extended; these will likely be allowed to expire this week. Gatherings of less than 50 people indoors are not bound by Green Pass restrictions.

The validity of existing Green Passes will be extended, such that those who have received two vaccine doses (with the second dose less than four months ago), those who are confirmed recovered from COVID within the past four months, and those who have received either a third or a fourth dose (boosters), will all qualify indefinitely.

With regard to international travel, from midnight on Sunday the requirement to take a COVID test before leaving the country will be cancelled for all those who are unvaccinated and not confirmed recovered from infection. This will apply both to travellers and to flight staff.

Those wishing to enter old-age homes will still be required to produce a negative antigen test result; people who come into contact with the elderly and/or vulnerable are advised to also test for COVID in advance.

Any organization which wishes to set up an antigen testing station in order to screen those wishing to enter events or facilities will be eligible for a government subsidy to offset part of the expense involved.

For employees in the healthcare, education, and welfare sectors, the requirement for the unvaccinated to take twice-weekly antigen tests is to be cancelled.