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Israel to end mandatory COVID-19 indoor masking policy


Israel to end mandatory COVID-19 indoor masking policy

Israel to lift indoor COVID-19 indoor masking policy – Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel will end its mandatory COVID-19 indoor masking policy today.

The mask mandate was previously dropped for a ten-day period in June 2021, but was quickly reinstated due to the Delta variant’s rise. The nation’s outdoor masking policy was lifted in April 2021. Nevertheless, Israelis will still need to mask in spaces with high risk of contagion such as senior care facilities, hospitals and planes.

Today’s policy change is a part of a broader shift by Israeli health officials towards ‘normalization.’ Normalization has so far included easing policies such as travel quarantine mandates and close contact quarantines in schools. Such normalization is possible due to decreasing daily infections, which stand around 4,000, along with a drop in seriously ill patients to 222. Likewise, the normalization may be due to Israel’s notable vaccination push, with the government already administering fourth doses.

Few COVID-19 restrictions remain in place in Israel, and the government will likely lift the rest in the coming weeks as long as cases remain low. Expect the government to continue moving towards normalization to ensure public favor amid anti-COVID restriction unrest. Still, the government will continue to monitor variants and will likely reimpose mandates if cases rise again.

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