COVID in Israel: Severe Cases Slightly Rise as New Restrictions Imposed

Bennett says goal is to keep Israel open, but 'knows how to slam on the breaks' ■ More than 180,000 Israelis have received third COVID jab

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett inaugurating a coronavirus testing center this morning
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett inaugurating a coronavirus testing center this morningCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Israel has recorded 3,290 new coronavirus cases since Tuesday, with 234 in serious condition, data from the Health Ministry revealed Wednesday, one day after a slew of tightened gathering restrictions were announced.

Experts explain: If most Israelis are vaccinated, why is COVID surging?

Israel has recorded a slight drop in the percentage of positive tests, with 3.35 percent of coronavirus tests returning positive. Over 205,000 Israelis have received their third coronavirus vaccine dose, according to Israel's health ministry.

>> Haaretz experts explain: Why lockdowns are back in Israel, even when almost everyone's vaccinated

"Our goal is to keep Israel open while preventing a situation where hospitals fill up, and we'll have a shortage of beds," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the opening of a COVID-19 testing center earlier on Wednesday, adding that "we know how to slam on the breaks" if such a situation arises.

Number of daily and serious coronavirus cases in Israel Credit: Israeli Health Ministry

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that the government sees another lockdown as a measure of last resort and that it can still be avoided if the public follows restrictions and if more people get vaccinated. "We will do the maximum to avoid a lockdown," he said.

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet concluded a three-hour-long meeting on Tuesday by announcing a series of new COVID-19 restrictions, as the country plunged deeper into a post-vaccination delta variant wave. The new regulations, including limiting gatherings to those with proof of immunity and encouraging working from home, will go into effect on Sunday.

A “green passport” – a document showing that someone has either been vaccinated, recovered from the virus or recently tested negative for it – will now be required for entry to events with fewer than 100 people.

The coronavirus cabinet also recommended that private companies have employees work from home, while government ministries will have to reduce the number of employees working in the office to 50 percent.

Children, who are exempt from the so-called green passport requirement, will now have to show a negative test result before entering such events. People will have to wear masks even at outdoor events with more than 100 people.

Also on Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a call-up order for 1,000 reservists to help the army deal with the spread of the virus. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with the heads of all the parties in the governing coalition and said that additional restrictions had to be imposed now, since otherwise, Israel will likely have 800 seriously ill patients in another 20 days or so.

Earlier Tuesday, the government announced that arrivals from 18 countries would have to quarantine for a week, regardless of vaccination status, beginning on August 11.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott