State Comptroller: 'Lack of enforcement hurts pandemic efforts'

'Government must not make do with reinstating mask mandate, Green Pass - it must enforce its decisions,' State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman
State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman
David Cohen/Flash90

Israel's State Comptroller, Matanyahu Englman, on Monday morning held a conference in his Jerusalem office, unveiling the 2021 report on local authorities.

During the conference, Englman underlined the issue of enforcing mask-wearing and quarantine in local authorities, saying, "The fourth wave which we are in now obligates us to place an great emphasis on enforcement."

"In the past two weeks, the Coronavirus Cabinet has made two decisions: to partially reinstate the Green Pass, and to reinstate the requirement to wear masks indoors. The government must not make do with simply making these decisions; it must enforce its decision."

"We published a month ago a report regarding the actions of local authorities during the coronavirus crisis," he added. "Findings on the issue of very partial enforcement showed that it was not effective. Even when they fined those who violated quarantine or did not wear masks, they almost never enforced payment of the fines. In the authorities which were examined, it was found that 7.3 million shekels ($2,263,859.94) were issued in fines, but just 1.3 million ($403,224.64) were paid, or 18%. As of December 1, 2020, the lack of enforcement harmed the fight against coronavirus."

Englman recommended increasing cooperation on the issue of enforcement between the police and local supervisors. He also suggested that the central authorities integrate representatives of local authorities in policy-making, and examine the expansion of the local authorities' independence and operational flexibility, especially during times of emergency.

"We can see how the State's criticism is effective and relevant," he added. "The conclusions published a month ago are extremely relevant today."