Health Ministry chief: Don't travel abroad unless it's vital

Policies regarding travel & quarantine likely to change, warns Health Ministry director-general.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

El Al airplane
El Al airplane
Photo: Moshe Shai / Flash90

Prof. Nachman Ash, the director-general of the Health Ministry and formerly the government’s coronavirus project manager, has held a press conference on the continued spread of the latest outbreak of the coronavirus and the question of imposing stricter regulations in order to curb the spread of the epidemic.

One decision the government has already taken is to reimpose the green pass system, starting on July 29th, applicable in all enclosed spaces where more than 100 people are accommodated.

“We are doing this now in order to avoid having to take harsher steps later,” Prof. Ash stated. “Of course, the green pass will only work if people actually follow the regulations,” he noted.

“We are already seeing an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital with serious cases of illness,” he stressed. “We haven’t yet seen an increase in the number of those sedated and ventilated, however,” he added.

Prof. Ash repeated the government’s oft-mentioned plea to all those who have yet to be vaccinated to go out and get the shot, and also to avoid non-essential travel abroad. “We are seeing an increase in cases all over the world,” he said, “and there is a very high likelihood of contracting coronavirus abroad. We really don’t want to see people getting infected abroad and bringing it back here with them.

“I advise everyone who is planning to travel abroad to take into account the possibility that our policies regarding travel and quarantine will change,” he added. “Take this into account when you book flight tickets, and also when you travel.”

Referring to the government’s plan to start the next academic year on time, Prof. Ash said that, “There are still outstanding issues that need to be addressed. What we do plan to do is to have children studying in smaller groups than usual, in order to reduce the number of contacts between them.

“We are cooperating closely with the Education Ministry,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday, the Education Ministry released its outline for the commencement of the new academic year, which includes the opening of all educational institutions for in-class learning, regardless of the rate of infection in the locality. The outline also features various measures to decrease the number of contacts between people in areas of higher rates of infection, and a widespread serological testing program to be conducted throughout August and September.

Schools will only be closed if there is a significant increase in morbidity and both the district director and the Health Ministry concur on the decision.