The Ometz movement for social justice has called on Israel's Health Ministry to re-examine its policy regarding the coronavirus pandemic, especially with regards to the need to wear masks in enclosed spaces.

According to Ometz, vaccines, a desire to return to normal routine, and political and security events have pushed the pandemic from the public discourse - but the virus is still here.

The movement's requests comes as each day, thousands of Israelis are diagnosed with COVID-19, and an unknown number of others are infected but not officially diagnosed and included in the statistics.

"We are witness, more and more, to the revealed and hidden spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel," Ometz's leaders wrote to Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz). "Some of those patients, unfortunately, die, and others suffer from post-COVID symptoms, such as constant weakness and chronic difficulties in basic functioning."

The letter also emphasized the enormous amount of lost work days due to infection, and the damage this causes to Israel's economy.

Wearing masks in enclosed spaces, they said, places a burden on the general public, but the benefit tips the scales in favor of changing the policy. Ometz's leaders especially emphasized that the Health Ministry should weigh reinstating the requirement to wear masks during flights abroad, as well as reinstating the requirement that travelers test for COVID-19 both before and after every flight.

The movement expressed hope that the Health Ministry would respond to the call, and prevent the continued spread of the virus and its ongoing harm to Israel's society and economy.