Yuli Edelstein
Yuli EdelsteinYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Tuesday afternoon spoke about the new "Green Passport" plan, saying that the vaccines will not be mandatory.

"We are announcing great news for the vaccinated," he said. "Even now, those who are recovered can go to gyms, hotels, and synagogues starting from Sunday."

"In the first two weeks, we'll be doing a trial. Not everything will go smoothly. We are aware that it is possible to forge vaccine certificates. I want to say this: Anyone who thinks this is a children's game and prints out a vaccine certificate for himself will eventually be caught, and his entertainment will end in jail time.

"There will be workplaces where the employees will either be vaccinated or undergo a coronavirus test every 48 hours. I want to say that there are not, and will not be, mandatory vaccines in Israel. If someone chooses not to get vaccinated, that is his right."

Earlier on Thursday, coronavirus czar Professor Nachman Ash told 103 FM that "morbidity is dropping, and we hope that this trend will continue. Obviously with the reopening of the economy, which begins Sunday, we will worriedly follow the morbidity rates, and I hope there won't be another rise."

Adding that the Brazilian variant has not yet been located in Israel, Ash said: "The mutation which has taken over is the British mutation, with about 90%. Regarding the South African [mutation], we have located several dozen cases, but we think there is a much larger outbreak. I can't tell you absolute percentages, but we estimate that there are a few hundred cases of it around the country."