Israel Extends Digital Monitoring as Serious COVID Cases Drop

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Museum goers wear masks while visiting an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Museum goers wear masks while visiting an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of ArtCredit: Hadas Parush

Israel extends the use of electronic monitoring of people in quarantine starting Wednesday. Moreover, entry to swimming pools will no longer require proof of immunity, according to new regulations approved by the cabinet on Tuesday.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the use of electronic monitoring by police of people in quarantine, beyond those who have returned from abroad.

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Anyone who is required to quarantine will receive a text message asking them to agree to electronic GPS supervision. Police will use increased means of enforcement for people who do not agree.

Men wear masks while working under the Green Pass restrictionsCredit: Moti Milrod

The electronic monitoring will not apply to people who only require quarantine up to 24 hours. 

Meretz lawmaker Gaby Lasky opposed the increased electronic monitoring, saying that its use constituted a slippery slope. “If they invest millions of shekels in this tool, who will assure that it will not have other uses?” Lasky said. Committee chairman Gilad Kariv of Labor said the committee would closely oversee protection of information on citizens.

Beginning Thursday, entry to swimming pools will no longer require presentation of a Green Pass, proof of COVID vaccination or recovery, according to new regulations approved by the cabinet on Tuesday. The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the regulation, but demanded that the government address its request to exempt other open-air attractions from the Green Pass requirement. 

Meanwhile, the cabinet passed an emergency order extending the validity of rapid COVID tests administered in an approved facility on Yom Kippur eve, Wednesday, to Thursday at midnight. It was also decided that places of worship where fewer than 50 people are gathered will be required to post a sign that they are not operating by Green Pass rules.

According to Health Ministry figures, 10,779 people were diagnosed as COVID carriers on Monday, and the rate of positive tests was 6.09 percent. There are 662 patients seriously ill with the virus, 195 of whom are on a ventilator. On Sunday, the number of seriously ill was 687. The number of people who have received a third shot as a booster now stands at 2,942,727. 

The R number – which indicates the average number of people who infect other people – now stands at 1.01; when this figure exceeds 1, it means the virus is spreading.

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