IDF requests pilot program: No masks in enclosed spaces

Days after announcing zero coronavirus cases, IDF requests approval to conduct pilot program for removal of masks in enclosed spaces.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Vaccines in the IDF
Vaccines in the IDF
IDF spokesperson

The IDF recently turned to the Health Ministry offering to conduct a pilot program in which soldiers would be able to remain in enclosed spaces without masks at all, so long as 100% of those present in the room are vaccinated against coronavirus, Israel Hayom reported.

Under the plan, the pilot would include ten units in which the number of people vaccinated is high, and masks would be removed only if everyone in the enclosed space was either vaccinated against coronavirus or recovered from it.

The IDF is currently waiting for the Health Ministry's approval for the program.

On Sunday, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the IDF reported that there were no coronavirus cases among IDF soldiers. The highest number of cases among soldiers was in February, when 3,270 soldiers tested positive for the virus.

In recent months, the IDF has spearheaded a widescale vaccination campaign, and currently has 80% of soldiers vaccinated, making it the first organization in the world to reach herd immunity. The vaccination rate is especially high in combat units.

However, vaccination rates are lower among soldiers who recently enlisted, and it takes the IDF several weeks to vaccinate them, since many receive other vaccines on the day they enlist, which cannot be given at the same time as the coronavirus vaccine.

The Health Ministry responded: "The State of Israel is still exposed to infection, including among the vaccinated and recovered, who may be infected with coronavirus mutations which the vaccine may be less effective against. The Health Ministry does not yet approve the removal of masks in enclosed spaces, and therefore it is still too early to approve this pilot."