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August 2021 – Coronavirus in Israel

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Last Updated on December 12, 2021

Latest Covid-19 Regulations for Israel

Green Pass for teachers as well, but some refuse.

31 August 2021

  • Academic school year
    • The corona cabinet, yesterday, approved the use of the Green Pass in schools. Unvaccinated teachers and school employees will be required to show a negative test twice a week, in order to continue working. If not, anti-vaxers and anti-testers will be sent home without pay.
    • Sadly, this could result in a shortage of teaching staff and that of course has serious implications.
    • 2.46 million pupils are set to go back to school on September 1st.
    • Pupils with one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, to count as vaccinated until the end of September.
  • The Green Pass
    • At yesterday’s meeting it was also mandated that all workers in the following categories will be required to present a Green Pass which confirms that they are vaccinated or recently tested with a negative result:-
      • School staff
      • Health workers
      • Restaurants and cafes
      • Swimming pools
      • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Israel Stats
    • 2,143,699 Israelis have had their third vaccine.
    • 5,481,339 have had their second vaccine
    • 5,973,210 have had their first.
    • The death toll now stands at 7,043
    • 80,183 active cases
    • Positivity rate – 7.8%
    • The R rate – 1.1
  • Rosh Hashanah
    • 8,000 worshippers will be able to attend services at the Western Wall over the high holidays. They will be required to pray in capsules and the wearing of a mask is mandatory.

30 August 2021

Good news for all!

  • Anyone over the age of 12, who wishes to get the third booster shot, can now do so. This was announced by Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash at a press conference late yesterday afternoon. Five months must have passed since the second shot in order to qualify for the booster shot.
  • School will start on Wednesday, September 1st.
  • No curfew for Rosh Hashanah. We all look forward to spending the holidays with those we wish to.
  • Commencing Friday, returning travelers, who have received 3 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, will not need to quarantine upon their return to Israel. They must however self isolate for 24 hours or until they receive their negative test result (which they took at the airport).

But…

  • The infection rate or ‘R’ rate rose by 0.01 yesterday, and now stands at 1.12
  • The positivity rate has climbed to 7.11%
  • 7,194 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed yesterday
  • Just over 2 million Israelis have received their booster shot.

25 August 2021

  • With just under 10,000 new coronavirus cases diagnosed in Israel yesterday, additional restrictions are to be finalized today and in particular, the directives around gatherings of all kinds; indoors, outdoors, theater, concerts, weddings etc., will be addressed.
  • New restrictions will apply to those who are vaccinated as well.
  • Minister of Health, Nitzan Horowitz: YES to restrictions on gatherings and NO to restrictions over the festivals.
  • 7 public hospitals; Hadassah, Shaarei Tzedek, Ma’ayeinei HaYishua, Laniado and 3 hospitals in Nazareth; the French, English and Italian hospitals will be operating per their ‘Shabbat Schedule’ from today
  • Surgeries will be postponed, out-patient services will cease and new MADA (Magen David Adom) patients will not be admitted.
  • The hospitals had been promised 630 million NIS by June and only 240 million has actually been transferred.

24 August 2021

  • Prof. Nachman Ash, Director of Ministry of Health: “The coronavirus booster campaign is to be expanded”.
  • Vaccination of the 30+ age group to be allowed and within 2 weeks campaign is expected to be opened to all above the age of 12.
  • It appears, contrary to current directives, the Health Funds are already vaccinating people under the age of 40.
  • MOH: Whoever requests an appointment should get vaccinated.
  • Some stats
    • Just under 6 million have received their first vaccination
    • Almost 5.5 million have had their second vaccination
    • Over 1.5 million have had their booster shot.
    • 68,638 active cases of coronavirus in Israel
    • 6,527 new cases diagnosed yesterday
    • 664 are in serious condition, 162 are in critical condition and 117 are being ventilated.
    • The positivity rate is 6.3% while the R rate is showing a downward trend and now stands at 1.19 (at the beginning of August it was 1.36)

23 August 2021

  • Back to School!
    • It’s official! At a meeting of the corona cabinet last night, it was decided that kindergartens, primary, secondary and high schools will commence as planned on 1st September.
    • Vaccination of children, over the age of 12, will take place at schools during the school day.
    • Students under the age of 12 will be asked to present a negative coronavirus test result on the first day. Parents will be given free rapid antigen testing kits and are asked to swab their kids within 48 hours prior to September 1st.
    • 8th – 12th graders in red zones: 70% of children must be vaccinated or recovered in order for lessons to take place frontally rather than online
    • School staff must present their Green Pass; i.e. they must be vaccinated or have recovered.
  • Healthcare
    • As of today 7 Israeli public hospitals will no longer be taking in new coronavirus patients.
    • Expert opinion: The rate of infection must stabilize. The third vaccine and a change in the public’s behavior will bring results.
    • The number of seriously ill, is lower than initially predicted.
    • From Wednesday, Israeli hospitals will operate per their “Shabbat timetable”. Budget related issues are given as the reason.
  • Travel
    • All travelers abroad – to all countries, vaccinated or not, will be required to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure and again upon their return.
    • Travelling abroad for Rosh Hashanah

22 August 2021

  • Some 100,000 Israelis received their 3rd dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine over the weekend bringing the total number of ‘3 x vaccinated’ to 1,373,538 people
  • Currently 645 people are in serious condition. This number however, is lower than the predicted number and the drop is attributed to the 3rd vaccine.
  • Serological testing for 3-12 year old’s commences today.
  • The corona cabinet is set to meet this evening and a final decision regarding the commencement of the school and pre-school academic year is expected.
  • At the request of the Education Minister, Yifat Shasha-Biton, teachers, parents and pupils will participate in this evening’s corona cabinet discussions.

19 August 2021

  • On the topic of another lockdown Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett said that  “pressing the lockdown button ruins the future of the country”.  He went on to speak about everyone’s personal responsibility in fighting the current corona situation.
  • Vaccination of pupils in the Haredi sector commences today.
  • Will the school academic year commence on September 1st?  There is still no firm answer and postponing it until 1 October is under evaluation as thousands of children are currently infected with the coronavirus.
    • Currently 22,000 pupils are infected with corona
    • Currently 70,000 pupils are in isolation
    • Currently 2,000 members of school staff are infected with corona and 4,500 are in isolation.
  • Long lines at attractions while waiting to present the required green badge. Parents are preferring to stay away.

16 August 2021

  • First signs in a drop of  the percentage of newly diagnosed delta coronavirus cases in the 60+ age group.  Initial conclusions are that the booster shot has contributed to the drop in the infection rate.
  • Elective procedures at hospitals have been cancelled in order to free up beds and make space for coronavirus patients.
  • The one millionth Israeli will receive his/her 3rd vaccination today.
  • From today
    • Restrictions according to the purple badge in shopping malls
    • The number of persons allowed to enter will be limited
  • From Wednesday
    • The green badge will come into effect for everyone over the age of 3.
  • Next week
    • Restrictions on the number of guests at weddings is expected to be put in place.
  • While parents prefer that the school year commence after the holidays, the Prime Minister and Minister of Education will open the academic year on 1st September as scheduled.

15 August 2021

  • With an average of 5,500 new corona cases being diagnosed daily in Israel, a lockdown over the high holidays, now seems very likely.  A senior official in the government said that if there is no improvement this week, a lockdown over the holidays will be finalized.
  • 850,000 Israelis have been vaccinated with the 3rd Pfizer coronavirus booster shot which is now available to anyone over the age of 50.
  • You can get your 3rd jab via your health fund or around the clock, through Magen David Adom (MADA)
  • Some 500 Israelis are hospitalized with the coronavirus and are in a serious condition.  The MOH fears that hospitals may collapse under the pressure.  The number of seriously ill has spiked by 2.5 times in recent weeks.
  • 66 coronavirus deaths reported last week – the highest since March.
  • Some 120,000 coronavirus tests are being done daily and the positivity rate now stands at almost 5%.
  • Chairman of WHO: Israel is a wealthy country and is vaccinating, for the third time, at the expense of the poor across the globe
  • Current stats for Israel
    • 934,896 is the total number of diagnosed coronavirus cases, in Israel, since the onset of the pandemic with 6,622 fatalities
    • 48,401 active cases
    • In Israel, 494 are hospitalized – 113 are in critical condition and 83 are being ventilated.
    • Tel Aviv (2,817), Netanya, Ashdod, Jerusalem and Petach Tikva (1,689) have the highest numbers of active coronavirus cases.
  • Stats for Anglo countries – total cases
    • USA – 37,435,835
    • UK – 6,241,011
    • South Africa – 2,595,447
    • Canada – 1,450,557
    • Australia – 39,103
    • New Zealand – 2,919

12 August 2021

  • At yesterday’s corona cabinet meeting:
    • The Green Badge system has been reinstated from age 3 upwards from Wednesday (download your updated badge from the RAMZOR app)
    • The Purple Badge has been reinstated at malls and offices where the public gathers from Monday
    • Subsidized coronavirus testing for ages 3-12.  From age 12 upwards, testing will be at one’s own expense.
    • Public gatherings will be restricted to 1,000 inside and 5,000 outside
    • Events at home – 50 inside and 100 outside
  • The Ministry of Health would like to see a restriction  placed on weddings and limited to  between 250-500 
  • Vaccines for 40+ or 45+? Prof. Eran Segal,  a COVID expert and government adviser to the coronavirus cabinet suggests that all members of the public, over the age of 40, should be vaccinated with the 3rd booster shot.  
  • All members of the medical fraternity should receive the booster shot irrespective of age
  • Experts predict that there could be as many as 3,000 deaths by the end of September.
  • Prof. Ran Balicer, Chair of the Israeli Society for Quality in Healthcare, and Advisor to Israeli Ministry of Health on infectious disease says that hospitals may no longer have the resources to cope as soon as next month.  He also went on to say that more significant restrictions on public gatherings need to be put in place.
  • The FDA is expected to approve the third booster shot within the next few days.

11 August 2021

  • At the corona cabinet meeting this afternoon, decisions are expected to be finalized and include:
    • The Green Badge system for the entire marketplace from age 3 upwards
    • Public gatherings: 50 person limit inside and a 100 person limit outside.
    • Possibility of a 3rd booster vaccine for ages 45 or 50 and upwards.
  • The situation in retirement homes is worrying and the number of coronavirus cases of hospitalized residents has doubled in the last week.
  • Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked’s comment – “This is a pandemic and in a pandemic, people die” – has stirred a negative reaction and a lot of anger among the families of coronavirus victims.
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed Israel at Level 4, the highest for COVID risk and recommend avoiding travel to Israel.
  • Latest stats for Israel
    • 6,343 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Israel yesterday and as of today there are 36,251 coronavirus cases in Israel, 388 are seriously ill and 63 are intubated.
    •  5,819,152 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine
    • 5,401,750 have been vaccinated with the second dose of the vaccine
    • 619,538 have been vaccinated with the third booster shot
    • Since the onset of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, 6,571 people have succumbed
    • 150,0899 corona tests performed yesterday with an 4.89% positivity rate.
    • Israel reports a total of 910,569 cases since the onset of the pandemic which is 97,638 cases per million

10 August 2021

  • Proposed restrictions to limit the chance or prevent lockdown:
    • The Purple Badge system – restrictions within the workplace
    • The number of customers in stores will also be limited
    • Limiting the number of people at supermarkets, synagogues, gatherings etc. – 50 inside and 100 outside
    • Weddings, concerts and similar events – up to 500 people outside.
  • Police are to step up the monitoring of the public and enforcing the face mask directive
  • MK Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Finance: “There is no proof that lockdown affects the number of corona cases.  There is proof that lockdown affects the economy.”
  • The Ministry of Finance plan is to encourage vaccinations and improve the health system
  • Bank of Israel: We will reinstate CHALAT if necessary
  • Confusion at Ben Gurion Airport expected again today – latest list of red countries, orange and yellow – who can fly and who cannot?

9 August 2021

  • School year to commence as usual on September 1st.
  • Announced Sunday: As of August 16th, quarantine will be mandatory for ALL travelers, of all ages, returning to Israel, from ALL countries 
  • Countries have been divided into 3 categories – yellow countries (with low Covid rates), orange countries (higher Covid rates) and red countries.
    • Yellow countries – 24 hour isolation upon return include:
      • Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan, Moldova, New Zealand, China, Singapore and the Czech Republic (NOTE: in the meantime, Austria, Czech Republic and Moldova are currently allowing Israelis to enter)
    • Red countries – complete travel ban or special permission from the Exceptions Committee  
    • Orange countries – 7 day isolation + 2 PCR tests or 14 days without PCR testing
      • ALL other countries have been classified as orange.  The USA, Greece and the UK are new additions to the list of orange countries.
  • Overall there are 42 orange countries where travelers must quarantine for 7 days with 2 negative PCR tests or for 14 days without PCR testing.
  • Before planning a trip to any country, check its status as published on the Ministry of Health website.
  • Anyone who has NOT been vaccinated or has NOT recovered, will be required to QUARANTINE upon their return

8 August, 2021

  • Approximately 120 rapid coronavirus testing complexes are to open across Israel today. Magen David Adom will be operating the complexes at their stations nationwide.  Tens of thousands of rapid tests are expected to be performed every day and test results will be available within 15 minutes. 
  • To make an appointment for a rapid test, call *3101 and follow the directions on the automated voice messaging system or via a link in a text message.
  • As per Health Ministry guidelines, there will be a fee for the tests – the fee is expected to be NIS 52.
  • The Green Pass program has been reinstated as of today and it  must be presented at cultural and sporting events, hotels, gyms and workout studios, restaurants, bars, cafes, cafeterias and conferences. Synagogues with more than 50 worshippers will also be required to adhere to the Green Pass rules.
  • The number of new coronavirus cases is climbing rapidly and some predictions say that as many as 1,000 critically ill COVID-19 patients in hospitals by the end of August.
  • The updated list of red countries, for Israelis, is expected to be announced today.

5 August, 2021

At last night’s corona cabinet meeting:

  • Senior officials from the MOH suggest a lockdown within the next two weeks.
  • MK Zeev Elkin commented that he was for this and a lockdown during August would be shorter and  preferable to waiting until September.
  • MK Nitzan Horowitz, Minister of Health, is of the opinion that a lockdown can be prevented if the public would get vaccinated and follow the current public health directives.
  • Nachman Ash, Director of the MOH, has told hospitals to ready themselves and consider opening additional corona wards.
  • Will the academic school year re-open on September 1st?  At this stage there is no recommendation from the MOH to delay opening schools on September 1st, but this could change.
  • Alternate Prime-Minister Yair Lapid says there is no necessity for him to participate in the corona cabinet meetings – he supports Naftali Bennet’s decisions
  • Israel  coronavirus ‘R’ rate (reproduction rate) now stands at 1.4. (yesterday’s positivity rate stood at 3.8%)
  • So far, 26 people have succumbed to the coronavirus since the beginning of the month.
  • The current vaccination campaign has seen over 1/4 million Israelis being  vaccinated with a 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
    • 5,797,586 – First dose
    • 5,387,452 – Second dose 
    • 262,563 – Third dose

4 August, 2021

Following the rise in the number of newly infected coronavirus cases and in an attempt to prevent another lockdown,  a special meeting of the Corona Cabinet on Tuesday, resulted in the following restrictions which are to come into effect on Sunday, 8th August, 2021, unless otherwise stated:

  • The Green Pass is to be re-instated in all closed spaces (only from August 20th)
  • Mandatory face-mask wearing at gatherings in open spaces where there are more than 100 people
  • 50% of workers in the government sector will be required to work from home
  • The vaccinated parents of a child, under the age of 12, will be required to go into isolation if their child is diagnosed with the coronavirus
  • Stricter enforcement of mask wearing and isolation infringement

The list of red countries is under review and an additional 18 countries are expected to be added to this list.  The full list will be published on Sunday, August 8th.

  • Travel to these countries will be subject to permission from the exceptions committee.
  • All travelers from these countries, including those vaccinated, will be required to go into isolation upon their return:  Ukraine, Italy, Iceland, USA, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, Greece, Chech Republic, France, Cuba, and 7 on the African continent; Eswatini (Swaziland), Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Egypt, Rwanda and Tunisia. 
  • On Sunday further discussions are to take place and decisions made regarding travel to/from all countries.
  • The very short list of green countries will also published after the meeting

Latest Israel stats

  • 3,842 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Israel yesterday and as of today there are 23,043 coronavirus cases in Israel.  Fifty seven are seriously ill and 49 are intubated.
  • 5,792,727 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine
  • 5,383,109 have been vaccinated with the second dose of the vaccine
  • Since the onset of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, 6,452 people have succumbed
  • 74,373 corona tests performed yesterday with an 1.8% positivity rate.
  • Israel reports a total of  854,434 cases since the onset of the pandemic which is 94,460 cases per million
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