Concert attendee waits for Green Pass authorization to enter
Concert attendee waits for Green Pass authorization to enter Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet is set to convene next week to deliberate on a number of possible steps to reduce restrictions on public activity, in the wake of the decline in the number of new cases and seriously ill patients.

On Thursday, the number of COVID patients in serious condition fell below 400 for the first time in months, with just 385 patients listed in serious or critical condition.

Health Ministry officials are currently drawing up a list of recommendations for the Coronavirus Cabinet, which is tentatively scheduled to meet for deliberations next Monday.

Among the possible changes being discussed, Channel 12 reported Thursday night, are changes to the Green Pass system, a move away from mass quarantines, and the reopening of the country to foreign tourism.

Unlike at the end of the third wave of the pandemic, however, the Health Ministry is not expected to back an end to the country’s indoor mask mandate, nor a scrapping of the Green Pass system – though some government officials are pushing for an end to the system.

The measures currently under consideration by the Health Ministry include limiting the use of quarantine for people who came in contact with infected people, and instead rely more on testing.

In addition, the Coronavirus Cabinet is expected to weigh plans to completely exempt children under 12 from the Green Pass system, who thus far have been required to get tested to enter venues under the Green Pass system.

Furthermore, the Health Ministry is considering recommending exempting gyms from the Green Pass system, allowing the unvaccinated to enter.

A separate meeting is expected to be held next week regarding the possibility of reopening Israel to large numbers of foreign tourists, who according to the Channel 12 report would be allowed to enter the country with COVID testing – though it is unclear if unvaccinated tourists would also be permitted to enter the country.

Under current plans, Israel is tentatively set to begin permitting individual fully vaccinated tourists into the country starting on November 1st. Tourists in organized groups of five to thirty are already allowed into the country under a pilot program which began last month.