Israel is abandoning street masks, but other COVID-19 rules still apply

The first signs of a changing pandemic are finally appearing around the world.

According to Reuters, on Sunday Israel eased some of its COVID-19 protocols. The country has officially lifted part of its mandate to use masks, which allows citizens to walk freely outdoors without covering their faces.

This decision was the result of the deployment of the vaccine in the country. According to Reuters, about 81 percent of Israelis over the age of 16 received both doses of COVID-19 (namely Pfizer / BioNTech), which led to a sharp reduction in hospitalizations and cases.

Although the abolition of open-air masks is great news, the Israeli government is still cautious. “We are now the world leader when it comes to getting out of the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Reuters. “But we’re not done with the coronavirus yet. It may return.”

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“Being without a mask for the first time in a long time seems strange,” 19-year-old Amitay Hallgarten told Reuters. “If I need to put on a mask indoors to do this, I’ll do my best.”

According to Reuters, from the end of May in the country will be allowed limited entry of vaccinated tourists. All travelers must pass a negative PCR result before boarding a flight to the country, as well as undergo an additional test to confirm vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

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