Photo Credit: Flash 90
Medical technicians test passengers for COVID-19 at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2021.

Israel’s Health Department reported Tuesday that the number of new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed Monday has topped 700, raising the positivity rate above 1 percent for the first time in many months.

Of the 58,101 Israelis tested for the virus on Monday, 730 tests returned with positive results, lifting the country’s contagion rate to 1.26 percent.


The ministry reported at least 46 patients are listed in serious to critical condition, including 10 being maintained on life support.

Nevertheless, at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet, the ministry will reportedly propose a reduction in the mandatory quarantine period for Israelis exposed to infected people, and incoming travelers from abroad.

The ministry is set to propose the quarantine period be cut in half, to seven days instead of 14 days, Hebrew-language media reported.

At present, unvaccinated international travelers and/or those who have not had the virus and recovered, are required to enter quarantine for a 14-day period, unless they undergo and produce two negative COVID-19 test results.

Those who are vaccinated and/or have had and recovered from the virus, are not currently required to self-isolate unless they test positive for COVID-19.

There is a possibility that the Cabinet will reduce the mandatory quarantine only for those who have been exposed but test negative for the virus. It is not yet clear whether the reduced quarantine will also apply for incoming international travelers as well.

Senior health officials are scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz to discuss this and other issues prior to the meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.