Israel is relying on vaccination passes to reopen its economy with gyms, hotels, restaurants and swimming pools, bars and restaurants open to those with a “green pass” who have received two cans of a push.
More than a third of Israel’s 8.6 million residents have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of the world’s fastest vaccination program, and over three million people are eligible for the passport as some already had the virus.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes the success of the vaccine and the end of Israel’s third lockdown will lead him to victory in the March 23 elections.
Israel is relying on vaccination cards to reopen its economy with gyms, hotels, restaurants and swimming pools, and restaurants open to those with a “green pass” stating who received two cans of a push. Pictured: Health workers administer the COVID-19 vaccine to an Israeli in a bar in the coastal city of Tel Aviv
The program is closely monitored abroad. Boris Johnson said Monday that the UK is exploring the idea of ”Covid Status Certification”, adding that there are “many concerns about exclusion, discrimination and privacy”.
Israel, which has one of the world’s most advanced medical data systems, secured a significant inventory of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines by paying above market price and entering into a data exchange agreement with the drug giant.
According to the Ministry of Health, almost 3.2 million Israelis were eligible for the Green Pass by Sunday.
That includes 2.5 million people who had their second shot more than a week ago, as well as nearly 700,000 people who have recovered from Covid-19.
Shopping centers and street-access stores reopened to the general public on Sunday, with visitor numbers limited.
However, gyms, swimming pools, hotels and some cultural institutions only open to those who have been fully vaccinated and have received what is known as the green passport.
Netanyahu lifted weights at a gym in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, late Saturday, insisting that Israel “move forward with caution” while “urging everyone to get vaccinated”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured on Tuesday) hopes that the vaccine’s success and the end of Israel’s third lockdown will lead him to victory in the March 23 elections
90-year-old Ora Davidovicz stood at the entrance of a posh gym in Tel Aviv and said she couldn’t wait to go swimming.
“It’s been almost a year since I went to the pool,” she said. “I’ve counted the days. All I have to do is put on my swimsuit, ”she said before entering.
Tom John, a muscular 33-year-old, told AFP he had trained at home for months but felt safe to be back at the gym with the protective systems in place.
“Everyone here has a green badge,” he said, studying the gym.
At the family-run Katalina shoe store in central Tel Aviv, Mordechai Nazarian said his store had been closed for eight years in the past 12 months, with “small openings here and there” as Israel lifted the restrictions between the locks.
“We hope this is the right one,” he told AFP.
Israel has given more people per 100 people than any other country in the world. As of February 23, 88.77 out of 100 people had at least one dose.
For comparison, in the UK, 27.34 people per 100 received at least one dose, which is still the third highest rate in the world.
Pictured: A visitor presents a coronavirus vaccination certificate at the entrance to the Khan Theater in Jerusalem, Israel, on February 23, 2021
More than a third of Israel’s population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of the world’s fastest vaccination program, meaning nearly three million people are eligible for the passport. Pictured: A graph showing Covid vaccine doses per 100 people in different countries, with Israel vaccinating well over 80 people per 100 people
At the Third Ear record store in Tel Aviv, 32-year-old Itay Shimon said he hadn’t been to a record store in many months, but enjoyed just browsing the aisles.
He described himself as a vaccine supporter and was also cautious when it came to forcing people to get the bump.
“We can’t force those who don’t want to,” he said.
Despite the successful vaccination, the Israeli government has approved a nightly curfew Thursday through Sunday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus over the Purim holidays.
The prime minister’s office and the health ministry said a curfew from 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. would be in effect from Purim eve.
The Department of Health has reported over 759,000 cases and at least 5,634 deaths from COVID-19. Pictured: Charts showing the seven-day moving average of daily new coronavirus infections in Israel (top) and daily new coronavirus-related deaths (bottom)
Purim, a Jewish holiday traditionally marked by public festivals and gatherings, begins on Thursday at sunset.
The holiday lockdown prohibits large gatherings of more than 10 people indoors at concerts, parades or parties that are typical for observing the holidays.
Israel reopened its economy last week after a nearly two-month lockdown, the third since the pandemic began. In the past few days, however, there has been a slight increase in new infections.
It has one of the highest vaccination rates per capita, with over 4.5 million of its citizens having received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
The Department of Health has reported over 759,000 cases and at least 5,634 deaths from COVID-19.