Article Israel: Ministry of Health Takes Additional Steps to Prevent Spread of New Coronavirus Variants

(June 30, 2021) Following the increase in coronavirus morbidity and recent outbreaks in various places in Israel, the Ministry of Health (MOH) adopted the Public Health Order (the Novel Coronavirus) (Home Isolation and Various Provisions) (Temporary Order) (Amendment No. 31), 5721-2021 (amended order).

The amended order subjects a person that has physical custody of a minor under the age of 12 who is sick or under a duty to isolate to a penalty of 5,000 Israeli shekels (about US$1,534) in accordance with the Public Health Ordinance, 1940, as amended, if the child violates isolation rules.

The amended order also extends isolation requirements to persons who have recovered from the coronavirus in accordance with instructions by MOH officials under any of the following conditions:

(1) The recovering person was in close contact with a patient infected with a dangerous strain of the virus, or there is a genuine concern that the recovering person has been infected with such a strain in the event of an exceptional morbidity event;

(2) The recovering person was in close contact with a patient permanently residing in an institution with a population at risk of severe morbidity, an unvaccinated population, or a population in which the vaccine has been known to be less effective;

(3) The recovering person has returned on a flight in which he/she was in close contact with a patient.

The amended order further requires the wearing of masks at international airports, border crossings, and in locations where medical treatment is given.

In a press conference on June 23, 2021, the director general of the MOH, Prof. Hezi Levy, reported an upward trend in the number of infections in Israel. According to Levi, there were 534 active patients and an average number of 48 verified patients a day, as compared with 14 on June 8, 2021. According to a YNET report, 145 newly verified patients were diagnosed on June 27, making it the sixth consecutive day with more than 100 verified patients.

Attributing the rise in infections to the Delta variant brought from abroad by infected travelers, the MOH decided on a number of steps, including:

  • Conducting a national campaign to vaccinate people aged 12 and older, with an emphasis on promoting public awareness.
  • Renewing efforts and providing necessary resources to local authorities to cut off the chain of infection at an early stage.
  • Reinstating the general requirement to wear masks in enclosed spaces if an average of 100 people are infected per day for a week.
  • Engaging in an information campaign to increase vaccination and adhere to quarantine requirements where applicable.
  • Increasing enforcement of quarantine requirements of verified patients by prosecution and increased penalties.
  • Increasing the number of COVID tests.
  • Requiring all Israeli passengers to sign a declaration before boarding a flight abroad that they will not visit high-risk countries.
  • Prohibiting foreign travelers from entering Israel for tourism purposes from July 1 to August 1, 2021, except as part of a group.

Prof. Nachman Ash, the government official in charge of managing efforts to fight the coronavirus, announced on June 24, 2021, that masks would be required in enclosed areas as of the week of June 27. He encouraged the public to wear masks even before the requirement becomes law and to avoid unnecessary international flights, especially with unvaccinated children. He also recommended that persons who were in contact with verified patients be tested regardless of whether they were vaccinated or not.

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Israel: Ministry of Health Takes Additional Steps to Prevent Spread of New Coronavirus Variants
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Chicago citation style:

Israel: Ministry of Health Takes Additional Steps to Prevent Spread of New Coronavirus Variants. 2021. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2021-06-30/israel-ministry-of-health-takes-additional-steps-to-prevent-spread-of-new-coronavirus-variants/.

APA citation style:

(2021) Israel: Ministry of Health Takes Additional Steps to Prevent Spread of New Coronavirus Variants. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2021-06-30/israel-ministry-of-health-takes-additional-steps-to-prevent-spread-of-new-coronavirus-variants/.

MLA citation style:

Israel: Ministry of Health Takes Additional Steps to Prevent Spread of New Coronavirus Variants. 2021. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2021-06-30/israel-ministry-of-health-takes-additional-steps-to-prevent-spread-of-new-coronavirus-variants/>.

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