On July 22, 2021, the Israeli Coronavirus Cabinet approved a new “green pass framework” in an effort to maintain “an open economy through vaccinations and tests, advocacy and enforcement, and the continuation of a safe life routine with a minimum of restrictions.” The Green Pass is an entry permit to places or facilities for recovered coronavirus patients and vaccinated people.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Health, Israel was experiencing a new wave of coronavirus infections as indicated by a rise in the coronavirus positivity rate, with higher COVID-19 susceptibility to complications for persons who are immune compromised or suffering from background diseases, such as diabetes, lung disease, and kidney disease.
Introducing the new framework, Minister of Health Nitsan Horowitz said:
The key word for me is balance. We are not excited about the Coronavirus deniers and do not listen to those who call for closing the country. We are bringing here a proposal for approval that will slow down the morbidity rate – and at the same time maintain a functioning economy and normal life. We want people to work, go out and maintain their fitness. We are working hard to open the school year safely and fully. The green pass will help us with these tasks. Adherence to the guidelines will protect the public from severe restrictions.
The new framework implements an arrangement termed the “Happy Badge,” which was formulated by Minister Horowitz, Economy Minister Orna Barbibai, and representatives of ballroom owners to allow the holding of events in closed spaces with occupancy of more than 100 people (regulated places) despite the rise in the rate of infections.
Application of the Green Pass Framework
In accordance with the Special Authorities for Dealing with the Novel Coronavirus (Temporary Order) (Restriction of Activity of a Public or Business Place) Regulations (5721-2021) (the regulations), effective July 21, 2021, presentation of a green pass is required to enter and participate in events held in regulated places. Such spaces include ballrooms, clubs, conference venues, restaurants and hotels, and other venues where events take place partly in the open and partly in a closed space.
A green pass must include the name of the person to whom in was issued; the person’s identification number in official documents, such as an identity card or passport; the green pass’s expiration date; and a means for green pass verification. In lieu of a green pass, entry into regulated places may be authorized upon presentation of a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before entry or a rapid test performed within 24 hours before entry. The Coronavirus Cabinet exempted children under 12 from the duty to present a green pass or a negative test result to enter regulated places.
Under the regulations, operators and persons in charge of regulated places must conspicuously place a sign in Hebrew, Arabic, and English at the entrance to regulated places announcing that presentation of a “green pass” or a certificate of a negative test result is required for entrance. When relevant, they must also inform customers of the entry requirements in advance and prevent persons who do not comply with them from entering the premises. The regulations impose fines on violators.
Entry of Covid-19 “Vaccine Objectors” to Regulated PlacesDeclaring that “vaccine objectors” endanger public health, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared that they would not be allowed to enter movie and live performance theaters, synagogues, amusement parks, football games, and any other venue activity involving over 100 people, either indoors or outdoors, unless they presented a negative result of a COVID test conducted at their expense. “There is no reason for taxpayers and those who have fulfilled their civic duty to get vaccinated to fund tests for those who have refused,” Bennett stated.