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COVID: Tourism plan, isolation cut to be discussed in cabinet

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About 730 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Israel on Monday, according to an update Tuesday from the Ministry of Health, as the coronavirus cabinet was expected to meet later in the day to discuss the country’s future moves against the blast, including a strategies to allow tourists and the opportunity to reduce the isolation period to seven days, from the current minimum of ten.
As the number of new carriers of the virus hit a record since March, serious morbidity – which the government considered the most important parameter to monitor – remained limited.

About 45 patients were in serious condition as of Tuesday morning, two less than 24 hours ago. In April, with a similar number of active cases – about 4,600 – there were about 270 such patients.

As foreseen by the General Director of the Ministry of Health Prof. Nachman Ash at a news conference Monday, the ministry updated data on the number of tests performed daily in the past month after it was discovered that a significant number of negative PCRs performed at Ben-Gurion Airport were counted twice.

While previous data showed that in the days of last week, the number of tests performed was often higher than 70,000, after correction, the figure stands around 50,000-55,000. As a consequence, also the rate of tests returning a positive result increased from 0.6-0.8% to 1-1.3%.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz were scheduled to meet with health officials in the early hours of the afternoon to prepare for the cabinet.

Among other things, the cabinet is expected to discuss possible measures to contain the current blast, including a short version of the green transition.

Until a few weeks ago, the green switch was given to vaccinated and fully recovered individuals or toddlers too young who had passed a PCR test in the previous 72 hours, giving them access to places and activities specific.

Under the new proposals, events with more than 100 people would be open only to people who have been vaccinated, cured or have a negative crown test, according to Israeli media.

After Bennett asked the Ministry of Health to look into the possibility of reducing the quarantine period – which currently lasts a minimum of 10 days with two negative tests or two weeks without – health officials are said to recommend reducing the isolation to seven days.

As for the plan to reopen the country’s borders to foreign nationals, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov is expected to present a comprehensive plan to the cabinet.

Israel has been closed to foreign nationals for more than a year, with limited exceptions.

Tourists vaccinated from low-disease countries were supposed to be allowed to start on July 1st, but the date was postponed to August 1st amid rising cases.

Under the new outline, those inoculated with a vaccine recognized by the US FDA or EU EMA will only be able to enter with a negative PCR test, while individuals stuck with other vaccines will undergo a test. rapid serological upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, with results in 15 minutes, to confirm the presence of antibodies in their blood.

The goal is to open on August 1, but the decision will depend on Israel’s level of disease, Razvozov said.

Sources

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2/ https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/coronavirus-in-israel-new-peak-as-over-700-new-cases-reported-673673

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