Last lockdown? 'We'll talk after another million are vaccinated'

'If we follow guidelines, I hope this will be the last lockdown,' Health Min. Edelstein says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Yehonatan Welcer, TPS

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Tuesday morning said that Israel can discuss when the last lockdown will be "when we have another million people vaccinated."

In an interview with Galei Zahal Tuesday morning, he said, "When we have advanced and have another million people vaccinated, we'll be able to discuss the last lockdown and a more significant reopening."

When asked whether he could commit to the current lockdown being Israel's last, Edelstein emphasized that "if we all act responsibly and follow the guidelines, and we understand that the fact that many people are getting vaccinated does not stop us from keeping the guidelines and we keep the guidelines, then I hope that this will be the last lockdown. We are reopening significantly and I am happy that children will go back to school, and happy about the gyms, the hotels, and the culture [industry]."

However, he noted the low number of teachers who have been vaccinated.

"According to the data, just 60% of teachers have been vaccinated," he said. "After great pressure and threats of a strike, we opened the vaccines to teachers, but it's been eight weeks and not everyone is vaccinated. We need to amend the laws to require teachers to either vaccinate or undergo a coronavirus test every 48 hours."

Edelstein admitted, "There is no government in the world that has done it all without any mistakes. I will say honestly that we made mistakes here and there. I wouldn't do everything the same way again."

Noting that by Tuesday night, more than four million Israelis will have received the coronavirus vaccine, he emphasized: "It's already a fact: Anyone who doesn't get vaccinated will be left behind. Yesterday, the Coronavirus Cabinet approved the Health Ministry's stance, which allows only those vaccinated and recovered from coronavirus to enjoy gyms, culture, and entertainment. Go get vaccinated!"

Also on Tuesday, coronavirus czar Professor Nachman Ash told Galei Zahal that whether this is Israel's last lockdown depends on the public's behavior: "I'm not sure, I hope so, it depends on how careful people are during the gradual reopening. We are worried about another outbreak with the British mutation and with children, who are not vaccinated. We are worried about another lockdown."