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Israeli Health Minister official: We can’t rely on vaccine certificates from abroad

The Knesset’s Economics Committee is discussing the approval of regulations that require both recovered and vaccinated people seeking to enter the country to present a negative corona test.

Dr. Ashi Shalmon, director of the international department at the Ministry of Health, said at the hearing that it is currently not possible to rely on recovery certificates from abroad as long as the Ministry of Health system is not in sync with health ministries around the world, therefore recovered and vaccinated people from abroad will not be exempt from quarantine as long as they haven’t done a serological examination.

Dr. Shalmon noted that performing serological tests at Ben Gurion Airport encountered difficulty on the part of the Airports Authority. “We hope that it will be possible to perform a serological test of the finger blood and that it will be easier to perform at Ben Gurion Airport as well.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read out reports at the beginning of the discussion in the Corona Cabinet from the Czech Republic and France, which are expected to tighten restrictions due to the mutation.

“The entire economy must not be opened immediately, we must act using the green pass alongside the continuation of the vaccination campaign. We must also decide on the matter of Purim,” the prime minister said.

The Israeli government will likely reimpose restrictions on public activity ahead of the upcoming Purim holiday, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish said Monday, hinting that a fourth nationwide lockdown may be necessary.

“We are very concerned about Purim,” Kish told “Hadashot HaBoker” on Monday. “We will have to put some restrictions.”

Despite the decline in COVID infection rates and progress in Israel’s efforts to vaccinate the entire population over the age of 50, Kish said the government will deliberate in the next few days on what kinds of new restrictions to impose on public activity.

“Purim naturally leads to mass gatherings, rejoicing, the Adloyada processions – things that cannot be done during the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We won’t celebrate this Purim as if everything is fine. In order to be able to celebrate Passover properly, we have to carefully follow the rules during Purim. The infection rate is still high.”

Kish also refused to rule out a fourth lockdown.

“Everything is on the table. Everything. I want to say that as clearly as possible from now already. We will deliberate on possible alternatives in the coming days, and we’ll make a decision in the Health Ministry and bring it to the Cabinet. It will either be to back a lockdown, a curfew at night, or stricter restrictions on gatherings.”

Source: Arutz Sheva