Israel tightens COVID restrictions

Tel Aviv: The Israeli government has expanded the nationwide COVID-19 restrictions following the recent surge in new cases, the Health Ministry said.

The green pass, which represents a permit to enter indoor and crowded outdoor places for recovered and vaccinated people, was expanded to most sectors, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying on Wednesday.

The green pass will now also include swimming pools, museums, libraries, national parks and nature reserves, while hotels, restaurants, cafes, gyms and culture events were already subject to the pass.

People neither vaccinated nor recovered will need to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate to enter these places.

Children aged 3 to 12, who are not eligible to receive the vaccine, can take a free PCR test, valid for 72 hours, or a free rapid antigen test, valid for 24 hours.

Those aged above 12 who are not vaccinated or recovered will only be able to take the rapid test at their own expense.

The green pass has not been applied to malls, outdoor shopping centres and other large stores. The purple badge was thus applied to these places.

It requires wearing a mask, keeping distance, placing instructions signs and more.

In addition, gatherings in Israel were limited to 1,000 people indoors and 5,000 in open spaces.

Gatherings in private homes were limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.