Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, July 19, 2021

Speaking at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that “the Delta pandemic is continuing to spread quickly around the world. This mutation is much more contagious than its predecessors. The world is being colored red.”

“Our goal as the Government of Israel is to safeguard life and daily routines,” Bennett declared, adding, “The government has already taken various steps: The main action is in providing strong and tightened protection, especially for the elderly and those who are vulnerable in retirement homes and geriatric hospitals. We are maintaining a continuous supply of vaccines and are stepping up enforcement.”

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He then pointed out that “at the moment, there are over a million Israelis who could get vaccinated and have yet to do so. Whoever does not get vaccinated is endangering himself, his family, his friends, the livelihood of those around him, and the opening of the school year.”

“Therefore,” Bennett stated, “I call on all of these one million citizens who have yet to get vaccinated: Go today and get vaccinated. There are enough vaccines for everyone. Go today, this is your civic duty. This is how we will protect ourselves. The vaccine is significantly effective in reducing infection and in easing the disease for those who still get infected, but the vaccine alone is not enough.”

He noted: “The second thing – wear masks in closed places. Understand that the vaccines alone will not beat the Delta mutation. Masks alone will not beat the Delta mutation. Masks plus vaccines will beat the Delta mutation. The third thing – the older citizens among us, who are in their homes, are again in a vulnerable situation, so watch them. Watch grandfather and grandmother. This is a requirement, not a recommendation. As of Wednesday, arrival to events, weddings, and bar mitzvahs will be possible for people who have been vaccinated, to those who have recovered, and to those who bring confirmation of a negative coronavirus test. This is a requirement, not a recommendation. Maintain quarantine – this is a requirement, not a recommendation. These are the requirements of a citizen and we will insist on them.”

“Alongside this, the government is taking all necessary actions,” Bennett declared. “We are now preparing in advance an orderly plan for the coming period, until the school year. Soon we will announce everything in an orderly manner, without last-minute directives so that everyone will have time to prepare. Our main goal is to smoothly open the school year. We endured a year in which education was the first thing to be hurt and we saw millions of pupils who paid the price and faded in front of Zoom at home. The goal of the actions that we are now taking is to assist us in opening the school year as normal. Therefore, the arrangement is simple. The citizens will honor the directives and we, as the Government of Israel, will plan ahead and carry out the necessary actions,” he concluded.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.