Israel Ditches Outdoor Masks, Reopens Schools as Country Returns to Normal

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Israelis were no longer required to wear masks outside on Sunday, in another step on the path back to normality as the country’s aggressive vaccination drive saw coronavirus rates take a steep plunge.

The education system also resumed its operations fully on Sunday, and schools reopened without isolation capsules.

The Israeli Health Ministry required that masks still be worn indoors.

The positive virus test rate over the weekend stood at 0.8 percent, less than half than the rate a month ago.

More than 81 percent of Israel’s population aged 16 and over had received the Pfizer vaccine.

The coronavirus czar Nachman Asch said if rates continue to decline, the economy would reopen in its entirety next month.

“We are leading the world right now when it comes to emerging from the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “(But) we have still not finished with the coronavirus. It can return.”

The latest directive scrapping masks couldn’t have come at a better time, with temperatures set to reach a scorching 105 degrees in some parts of the country.



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