Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet is slated to convene Tuesday evening to consider imposing new limits on public activity aimed at curbing the spread of the Delta Variant of the coronavirus.
With the number of newly diagnosed COVID cases rising from 2,121 Sunday to 3,161 Monday, the Health Ministry has begun drafting recommendations for the Coronavirus Cabinet, with a number of policy changes health officials hope will cut the spread of the virus, while avoiding the need for more sweeping restrictions.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Health Ministry officials Monday to discuss some of the possible changes set to be presented to the Coronavirus Cabinet Tuesday for deliberation.
Chief among them is a plan to expand the use of the ‘green pass’ system, which limits entry to some events and venues to the vaccinated, recovered COVID patients, and people with recent negative COVID tests.
One option would be to include events with fewer than 100 attendees in the ‘green pass’ system. Children under 12 would still be permitted to attend if they have a negative COVID test.
Another possible restrictions under consideration is the expansion of the ‘red list’ of countries to which Israelis are barred from travelling due to their high infection rates.
The Coronavirus Cabinet is also expected to deliberate on the possibility of expanding the groups able to receive a third dose of the COVID vaccine. While Israel began providing third doses to people over 60 last Friday, Health Ministry officials are now mulling plans to offer the third dose to other Israelis in high risk groups, even if they are under the age of 60, lowering the age for the third dose to 50, and offering the third dose in psychiatric wards.
Furthermore, the government’s COVID advisory panel is pushing the Coronavirus Cabinet to tighten enforcement of the country’s indoor mask mandate.