The high-level coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday evening approved a raft of new restrictions, after the daily COVID-19 caseload surpassed 3,000 for the first time since March.
Ministers adopted Health Ministry recommendations to further restrict gatherings in an effort to contain the renewed COVID-19 outbreak, which has been blamed on the fast-spreading Delta variant.
Effective Sunday, the new regulations will fully extend the Green Pass system to all gatherings — not merely those with over 100 people, as is currently the case — and restrict access to public venues to unvaccinated children.
The Green Pass was partially reinstated by the government on Thursday, with entry to events of more than 100 people — both indoors and outdoors — allowed only to those who are vaccinated, recovered, or who present a negative COVID test. However, children under age 12 were largely exempt from the system and smaller gatherings had no limitations.
The government said young children will now need to be tested to enter venues, starting August 20. It plans to set up a rapid testing system to enable this.
The new health rules also mandate masks outdoors for gatherings of 100 people or more; will scale back in-office work for public servants to 50 percent and recommend that the private sector also allow employees to work from home; and require vaccinated caretakers of infected children under 12 years old to self-isolate.
The government also plans to step up advocacy to encourage Israelis to stop “shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and avoid any gathering indoors that is not essential,” according to a government statement. It will also encourage those over 60 to avoid gatherings or be in the same room with the unvaccinated.