Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Knesset
Health Minister Yuli Edelstin at the Jan. 4, 2021 meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

During Monday’s meeting of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on the plan to issue a “green passport” to Israelis who are vaccinated against the coronavirus and to those who have recovered from it, Health Minister MK ​Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said, “I talked to my counterparts in other countries and they were very enthusiastic about the idea of the green passport, working to create an international alliance that would allow the movement of citizens who have a green passport. The potential for issuing it is huge.”

Minister Edelstein also repeated his support for a full lockdown due to the rapidly rising morbidity level of the coronavirus, which he pointed out was greater than during the September “second wave.” He noted that “the heads of municipalities and many in the public are supporting me. . . Enough with this iffy lockdown.”

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Under the plan, “green passport” holders will be able to attend various events and eat at restaurants. They will not be obliged to enter quarantine after contact with a confirmed patient. They will also be able to travel abroad without taking the mandatory COVID-19 test before leaving the country and will use a separate international card identifying them as having been vaccinated.

During the meeting of the committee chaired by MK Yakov Asher (United Torah Judaism), Minister Edelstein also pledged that “at no point will we not have enough vaccines in the refrigerator for the second vaccination – not as an agreement on paper, not on the way, but in the refrigerator.”

Coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash said the Green Passport could be combined with rapid testing, while technology experts presented options for apps, smart cards, and similar innovations that might be used in the Green Passport program.

Ash said the Health Ministry is researching thoroughly the issues concerning individuals who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons, such as having been infected and recovered or suffering from allergies, to see if these individuals may use rapid testing to enjoy the same freedoms as those who have been vaccinated.

The purpose of the green passport initiative, Ash said, is to enable the opening up of as many different sectors of society as possible.

A representative of the Foreign Ministry said it was in contact with organizations and governments around the world to create a document that would be internationally recognized and spare those who hold it from having to quarantine when they travel abroad.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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