On April 15th, local time, Israel’s health minister, Yuri Edelstein, announced that from April 18th, Israelis would no longer be required to wear masks outdoors.
Edelstein said in a statement on the 15th that because of Israel’s successful vaccination campaign, the country’s Coronavirus infection rate has plummeted, so some pandemic prevention restrictions can be eased, Israelis no longer need to wear masks outdoors.
A man is vaccinated against the Coronavirus at Surasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, on February 9, local time. Xinhua News Agency infographic
“Masks are designed to protect us from Coronavirus.” “However, after professionals decided that I no longer needed to wear it in an open space, I decided I could remove it, ” says Mr Edstein. ”
Israel’s Coronavirus outbreak has improved rapidly in recent months, thanks to the country’s fastest vaccination campaign in the world. According to the latest data released by the Israeli Ministry of Health on the evening of the 15th, more than 5.33 million Israelis have been vaccinated against at least one dose of Coronavirus vaccine, more than 4.96 million Israelis have completed two doses of vaccination, Israel’s daily new cases and severe cases have dropped to the lowest level in months. Specifically, in mid-January, there were about 10,000 new cases per day in Israel, and now there are only about 200 new cases per day.
As the number of cases has decreased, some public places in Israel have significantly reduced pandemic prevention restrictions. In recent weeks, Israeli police have been instructed to stop enforcing outdoor mask orders, the Times of Israel reported.
Also this week, Israel’s cabinet voted to fully reopen schools across the country from Sunday, with some grades no longer required to continue in small classes and only students in grades 5 to 9 needing to study in “capsules” that kept their social distance.
Ilan Siegel, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and a senior expert on Epidemiology in Israel, told Israel’s Channel 12 that it was safe to relax restrictions further, given that Israel may have “reached some level of mass immunity”, “previously, even mass gatherings during the Passover holidays did not result in a surge in cases because most Israelis were vaccinated.” ”
Pfizer CEO Albert Burra was invited as a guest at a ceremony held by the Israeli government on the evening of the 15th to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s independence. “Together, we are demonstrating that through mass vaccination, humans can overcome Coronavirus outbreak and save lives,” Burra said in a video message. ”