Israel Reduces COVID Quarantine to Seven Days While Cases at a Three-month High

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Men at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, last week.
Men at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, last week.Credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israel's coronavirus cabinet decided Tuesday to reduce the mandatory quarantine to seven days, in line with the Health Ministry's recommendations.

The Health Ministry recommended that the proposed quarantine period for unvaccinated individuals who were in contact with a confirmed carrier or returned from abroad to be shortened to a week from the current two weeks without taking a COVID-19 test, or 10 days with one.

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The ministers' decision, which goes into effect immediately, is meant to encourage people to abide by the regulations and prevent violations of quarantine requirements.

According to the Health Ministry's models, a seven-day quarantine leaves a potential carrier of the virus with a 10 percent chance of infecting others, higher than the 5.3 percent for a 10-day quarantine and 1.7 percent for a full 14-day one.

Ministers also debated more lenient regulations such as allowing people who are not vaccinated or have not recovered from the virus to attend indoor events without presenting a negative coronavirus test.

Health officials asked ministers to give them more time to prepare for quick testing. A final decision on the matter has yet to be made.

Israel recorded 730 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest figure since late March. However, this figure is still lower than the Health Ministry's forecast from roughly two weeks ago, which anticipated that Israel would face 600 new coronavirus cases a day within a week, and 1,000 a day in 10 days.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Israel has 4,831 active COVID-19 cases, with 80 hospitalized patients, of whom 45 are in serious condition and 12 are on ventilators. So far, 6,439 Israelis have died from the virus.

Figures representing serious cases and deaths have remained relatively stable over the past days.

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