Israel is not currently planning to repeal its mask mandate, the country’s coronavirus czar, Prof. Nachman Ash, said Sunday, while hinting that such a repeal could be considered by the government this year, once data on infection “rates” among the immunized have been compiled.
Speaking at a press conference Sunday afternoon, Ash said that it is still “too early” to drop the requirement to wear a mask in all public areas, but said that a decision on the issue would be made once the full impact of the COVID vaccine on infection “rates” has been assessed.
“We believe that it is still too early [to repeal the mandate]. A decision about masks will be made in a thought-out way once we know more about infections among the vaccinated.”
Ash touted the decline in the COVID infection “rates” and the number of seriously ill patients, while emphasizing that the coronavirus limits on public activity must remain in effect for the time being.
“Yes, the numbers are on the decline, and we are happy about that. But they still aren’t where they need to be for us to be able to change the rules.”
Masks, Ash continued, “are very effective in close quarters, during interactions between people in closed spaces.”
Israel will begin promoting the mass-use of rapid antigen tests for COVID, Ash said, to allow the unvaccinated to take part in mass gatherings and events.
“We view the rapid tests as being very important in allowing people who for whatever reason can’t get vaccinated or still haven’t gotten vaccinated to go to various events.”
Turning to the upcoming holidays of Passover and Ramadan, as well as the general election this Tuesday, Ash said that no major outbreaks are expected, but added that health officials would keep a close eye on infection rates.
Ash added that there are currently no known variants of the virus which are resistant to the coronavirus vaccines.
Source: Arutz Sheva