Israel’s Indoor Mask Mandate Ends After Two Years
Israel’s indoor mask mandate, one of the few remaining coronavirus restrictions still in place, was lifted at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.
Early last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz had agreed that the widely flouted masking requirement will be scrapped, citing the decline in morbidity.
The mandate had officially been set to expire on May 1.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that masking will still be required “at places with high contagion potential,” among which it listed hospitals, senior living facilities, and during air travel.
“This year — Mimouna without masks,” Bennett later tweeted, referring to the popular Jewish Moroccan celebration that follows Passover. Mimouna celebrations, where people host large gatherings and travel from home to home, were expected nationwide Saturday evening. Bennett set to attend one such event in Shilat, a moshav near Modiin, later Saturday.
Since masking rules were first imposed in April 2020, Israelis have been required to wear face coverings indoors for all but 10 days in June last year, when the mandate was briefly lifted before being swiftly brought back amid surging cases at the time.
The announcement Wednesday, April 20, by Bennett’s office came two days after a US judge struck down the federal masking requirements on public transportation, with numerous companies and government agencies subsequently announcing they would no longer enforce the mandate. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you keep your children healthy and that this pandemic comes to an end.”