Friday, June 25, 2021

Israel Reimposes Indoor Mask Requirement As Daily Cases Increasing

Israel reimposes indoor mask requirement as daily cases top 200

Israel on Friday reimposed an indoor mask requirement as over 200 new COVID-19 cases were recorded the day before, the highest daily caseload in two and a half months, with a top health official warning the spread of the coronavirus was accelerating.

The Health Ministry said the renewed mandate took effect at noon in all enclosed spaces — except for permanent places of residence — a day after coronavirus czar Nachman Ash said it would be reinstated early next week amid a recent resurgence in cases. The mandate was lifted last week.

A Health Ministry statement said those exempt from the requirement were children under seven, people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask, anyone alone in an enclosed space, two workers who work regularly together in the same room, and anyone exercising.

The ministry called on Israelis to wear face coverings when taking place in mass gatherings outdoors, such as the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv scheduled for Friday. It also urged those in at-risk groups or who are not vaccinated to avoid gatherings.

The move came shortly after Ash said 227 infections were confirmed Thursday, the highest daily figure since April 7. He said the positive test rate ticked up to 0.6 percent, “which also testifies to the increase in morbidity.”

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