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

Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet reviewed and approved an action plan presented Thursday to resurrect the country’s Green Pass program in response to the climbing number of citizens infected with COVID-19.

The “national strategy for fighting the Delta strain,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, “is composed of vaccines, masks and protecting the vulnerable and elderly populations,” as well as the Green Badge (formerly the ‘Green Pass’) plan, as well as “a plan for entering and exiting the country.”

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The ministerial committee convened following an intensive week in which the prime minister, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and top health officials studied the data and held discussions with experts from Israel and around the world.

Here’s the plan that was approved:

  • Events with up to 100 participants: Unchanged, no restrictions.
  • Events with over 100 participants in a closed or open space: Entry will be permitted to people who have been vaccinated, who have recovered or who have had a negative test and are 12 and over.
  • The renewed Green Badge will apply to culture and sports events, gyms, restaurants and dining rooms, conferences, tourist attractions and houses of worship.
  • “Happy Badge” events (weddings, celebrations) – Permits must be presented for all ages, even children under 12.

Word to the wise:
Effective Sunday, August 8, 2021, the cost of tests for people who have not been vaccinated will be the responsibility of those being tested (except people who are unable to get vaccinated); the tests will be carried out at designated facilities around the country.

The Green Badge plan is to be submitted for government approval on Sunday (July 25) and is set to take effect next Thursday (July 29).

Plan for Ben Gurion International Airport
A renewed COVID-19 plan for Ben Gurion International Airport was also approved Thursday by the Coronavirus Cabinet.

In accordance with the plan:

  • It was recommended to expand the list of red countries and add the following: Great Britain, Georgia, Cyprus and Turkey. This is to be submitted to the government this Sunday (July 25 2021) and will take effect the following Friday (July 30).
  • Flying to red countries will continue to be prohibited except with the approval of the exceptions committee.
  • People who have been vaccinated will be tested for the coronavirus upon landing in Israel and will be released from quarantine upon receiving a negative result.
  • People who have not been vaccinated will be tested for the coronavirus upon landing in Israel, will be quarantined for seven days and will be released from quarantine upon receiving a negative result for a test that was carried out on the seventh day.

“A distinction between people who have and who have not been vaccinated was made in the recommendation of the Health Ministry and outside experts — all of whom said that applying the Green Badge is likely to improve the morbidity situation,” the prime minister said.

“It was also decided that it is important to give incentives to unvaccinated citizens of Israel who can be vaccinated,” Bennett added, underlining the distinction between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated population vis-à-vis daily routines.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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