Hezi Levi
Hezi LeviHaim Twitto

The director general of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Hezi Levi, estimated on Thursday evening that the obligation to wear a mask will not be removed any time soon, despite the dramatic decrease in cases of COVID-19.

"I do not think we are ready to stop wearing the masks. Even outside in close proximity between people there is important preventive effectiveness in the mask," Levi told Reshet Bet radio in an interview.

"I hope that vaccination of children will start in May. We are currently talking about one million children aged 12-16. The vaccine seems to us to be less dangerous than the disease itself," he added.

On Pfizer's announcement that the vaccine is effective up to six months after one receives it, the director general of the Ministry of Health said: "I am happy to see this, and it will certainly affect discussions about the required frequency of the vaccine – whether every six months or once a year like the flu. We may extend the green passport."

"We will mark Memorial Day differently from last year - families will be able to go to their loved ones’ gravesites. We will hold the ceremonies, but we ask that there be no large gatherings during the ceremony. As for Independence Day - we will be more careful there."

Prof. Levi stressed, "Even when we are vaccinated, we still need to be careful. I see that we are not doing this and I am definitely worried. There is a sense of joy that we managed to achieve a low level of morbidity, but it is mixed with concern - I don't think we have gotten out of the coronavirus and we still have to be careful."