COVID testing
COVID testing Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has decided that the period of required isolation from seven days to five, subject to two coronavirus tests to be carried out on the fourth and fifth days of the quarantine period.

"The State of Israel is now facing the highest morbidity of the Omicron wave; therefore, we are seeing many verified cases, and many people in quarantine. This is placing heavy pressure on the economy," Bennett said.

"Therefore, I have decided, together with the Health Minister, the health system and experts, to shorten the quarantine period from seven days to five.

This decision will enable us to continue safeguarding public health on the one hand and to keep the economy going at this time on the other, even though it is difficult, so that we can get through this wave safely," the prime minister concluded."

On Monday afternoon, Bennett held a professional discussion with the participation of Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and the director general of the Health Ministry regarding shortening the isolation days for verified coronavirus patients and those exposed to them, following internal discussions by professionals in the Health Ministry.

Earlier, the Education Ministry announced a worsening of the mental state of students in the education system. Minister Yifat Shasha Bitton said that "the isolation of healthy children must be courageously abolished so that we can return the system to a physical routine in schools and save the children."

Data from the Education Ministry show that there has been a 43% increase in the treatment of students at risk for suicide provided in the educational psychological services. An increase was recorded from from 829 treatments in 2020 to 1,184 treatments in 2021.

A research funded by the ministry conducted by Prof. Miri Sharaf of the University of Haifa (December 2021) also indicates worrying findings. According to the study, close to 60% of elementary school students (out of a sample of 489 students) suffer from mild depression to severe clinical depression.

Among middle and high school students, 67% (out of a sample of 845 students) suffer from mild depression to severe clinical depression.

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