Serious coronavirus cases in Israel continue to decline for the fourth day in a row as nearly 2.5 million people have received their third COVID booster shot, Health Ministry data shows.
According to Health Ministry data, 11,210 new COVID cases were diagnosed on Thursday, with 8.43 percent of tests coming back positive. The last time that figure reached above eight percent was in February, while the initial vaccination drive was still in full swing.
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Twice over the past week, Israel has recorded new records in the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed – once on Monday, and once on Thursday. Even so, serious cases are continuing to fall, with 667 as of Friday morning, down from 753 on Sunday. There are currently 143 people on ventilators. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 7,122 people have died of the coronavirus in Israel.
On Thursday, 110,157 Israelis received their third dose of the COVID vaccine, with 2,493,222 having received it since the inoculation drive began. Over 5.5 million people have received at least two doses of the vaccine.
On Friday, new Health Ministry guidelines went into effect exempting people who have received a third booster shot – or those who have recovered from the coronavirus or got their first two doses within six months –from quarantine when returning from abroad.
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A statement released by the Health Ministry said on Thursday that those vaccinated international travelers will only have to self-isolate until they receive a negative coronavirus PCR test, or until 24 hours have passed since they entered Israel.
In light of the new guidelines, Israelis who have already returned to the country from overseas trips and meet these criteria may also stop quarantining on Friday. Travelers who have not been vaccinated, or have received their second dose more than six months earlier, will still have to quarantine fully.