Photo Credit: David Cohen/Flash90
Israel's coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash visits the Corona department at Ziv hospital in Tsfat, December 24, 2020.

Corona Czar Prof. Nachman Ash on Sunday told Reshet Bet radio that “it will be possible to give up the facemasks outside – their importance there is low.”


He explained: “In such places, the importance of the masks is much lower and can be waived. The point here is not to create further confusion – where to wear and where not to – so the rules remain, but the police are not going to enforce it. In general, enforcement will be aimed at isolation, especially for people returning from abroad.”

“We want at least at this point, when we don’t know the degree of protection of the vaccine against infection, to maintain an additional safety factor, which is the masks, the social distance, and the rules regarding hygiene,” Ash added.

“Over the coming week we will see the effects of Purim on the morbidity,” the Czar said. “We are preparing for this mentally and preparing for the fast of Ramadan,” he explained

When asked if a night curfew would be imposed on Passover, similar to last Purim’s, he said: “I hope not, but I also can’t say for sure before we see the data from the weekend, from Purim, and of course also from today’s reopening. I hope we can celebrate Passover in a reasonable way with family.”

At the end of the interview, Prof. Ash was asked about the Prime Minister’s remarks in his interview with Fox News last week, when he boasted that Israel had, for all intents and purposes, defeated the pandemic. Ash explained: “We all understand that the Corona is still here and it is important to be careful. I think we are on the way out, but it is clearly still with us, and we must keep our guard up.”

Earlier today, Prof. Ash told Army radio (As Israel Reopens for Business, Corona Czar Warns of Insufficient Enforcement and New Mutations) that “our great concern is about an increase in morbidity as a result of non-compliance with the rules, which would lead us to a situation where we would have to go back,” meaning shutting down the economy and the education system.

“We rely on the fact that there are more than 3.5 million twice-vaccinated Israelis, and I hope this will provide protection in terms of the number of verified infections and the number of patients who are in serious condition – but if that is not enough, we will have to go back,” Prof. Ash warned.


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