Coronavirus Live: Israel Approves Reopening Universities for Vaccinated Students

Israel's COVID committee to decide on new regulations ■ Pandemic czar says fourth lockdown 'possible' before election

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Haaretz
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Shop owner shutters his store, Tel Aviv.
Shop owner shutters his store, Tel Aviv.Credit: AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS
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Haaretz

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Israel is in the midst of an extensive vaccination campaign, and is beginning to see a drop in COVID infections and severe cases. Israel exited its third nationwide lockdown, but inbound and outbound flights remain suspended except for special cases. So far, 5,821 Israelis have died of the virus.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have received 30,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, and 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by Israel. It may take a while still for a mass vaccination campaign to get under way, and many months for it to reach enough members of the population. 1,741 people have died so far in the West Bank, while 555 have died in Gaza.

>> How many have already been vaccinated

>> Israel fears South African strain spreading beyond control

>> Israel to reopen more schools, cafes on Sunday

LIVE UPDATES

8:50 A.M. Israel opts against using British Mandate law for barring unvaccinated students from school

Israel will not activate a clause in past legislation which allows the state to remove unvaccinated students from school and pass on their data to educational institutions and local authorities. 

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit clarified that any steps to enact a similar program would require further legislation, even though his office used the clause to approve the same measures for a measles outbreak two years ago. 

This is done by using a clause in legislation from the British Mandate, based on the opinion of the legal adviser of the Health Ministry. (Netael Bandel)

SATURDAY

9:30 P.M. Gov’t approves opening of restaurants and cafés

The government approved the opening of restaurants and cafés, allowing up to a total of 100 guests inside and outside. Guests without a green pass will be only be allowed to sit outside.

Institutions that require a green pass will also allow for babies up to one year of age to enter.

Hotels are allowed to open eating halls, with no more than 300 people allowed in the room at the same time.

Cultural and sports events, as well as houses of worship can have 500 people in closed buildings and 750 in open areas.

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Stadiums and event halls with capacity of 10,000 guests are allowed to admit 1,000 guests indoor and 1,500 for outdoor events. (Haaretz).

8:20 P.M. Israel approves new regulations for Israelis stuck abroad

The Israeli government approved a new outline for operating Ben-Gurion International Airport on Saturday. Israelis who found themselves stuck abroad after Israel shuttered its borders to its citizens would be able to return to through flights from Frankfurt, London, New York, and Paris. Toronto, Hong Kong and Kiev are expected to be added to the list later this coming week. 

Initially, 1,000 Israelis would be allowed in per day, with the number expected to increase to 3,000 later in the week.

Israelis who don't have a green passport, or recovered from COVID, will need permission to leave the country. 

Returning citizens will no longer have to quarantine in government-run hotels. Those who haven't been vaccinated will have to quarantine at home. (Judy Maltz)

7:51 P.M. Government approves reopening universities for vaccinated Israelis on Sunday

The Israeli government approved reopening university campuses beginning Sunday for Israelis with a 'green pass' – a certification of vaccination. Classes of maximum 300 students will be allowed, or up to 75 percent capacity. 

Classes will return within the 'green pass' framework, which would include students who have received both coronavirus vaccinations, paired with a socially-distanced classroom arrangement. Students who enter without a pass will be subject to 5000 shekel fines ($1,500).

Students who use labs can return without having obtained a 'green pass.' Classes will continue to be broadcast online for those who don't have a 'green pass.' (Judy Maltz)

6:20 P.M. Gov't yet to approve guidelines for lifting of COVID regulations

With less than 12 hours to go until further restrictions are lifted on Israel's economy, the government is yet to approve the new guidelines, which include opening of bars and restaurants.

The coronavirus cabinet is schedules to meet Saturday evening to make a decision on the easing of restrictions.

The matters the government is expected to approve at Saturday night's meeting include the resumption of in-person classes for grades 7-10 in green and yellow cities and in orange cities where more than 70 percent of residents are vaccinated; the opening of cafes and restaurants; and the opening of hotels and event venues for vaccinated or recovered so-called Green Pass holders. (Judy Maltz)

FRIDAY

6:30 P.M. Gov't to vote on reopening economy on Saturday

The government will only vote on regulations regarding the third phase of opening the economy on Saturday evening, even though the third phase is currently scheduled to begin on Sunday, because preparatory work in the run-up to the vote has not yet been completed.

The coronavirus cabinet was scheduled to approve the resumption of studies on academic campuses on Friday, but this matter will also be put to a vote only on Saturday night.

The matters the government is expected to approve at Saturday night's meeting include the resumption of in-person classes for grades 7-10 in green and yellow cities and in orange cities where more than 70 percent of residents are vaccinated; the opening of cafes and restaurants; and the opening of hotels and event venues for vaccinated or recovered so-called Green Pass holders. (Judy Maltz)

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