Aug 3, 2021 - Health

Israel reinstates COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

Elderly residents wait to receive their Covid-19 vaccines at a medical center in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2

Elderly residents wait to receive their third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a medical center in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israel announced Tuesday it will tighten public health measures due to surging in COVID-19 case numbers.

Driving the news: The latest restrictions come as Israel saw nearly 4,000 new daily cases reported on Tuesday, the highest count so far since the country began experiencing an uptick last month, the AP reports.

The big picture: The fresh measures include allowing only vaccinated people to attend indoor gatherings of 100 people or more, and requiring face masks at outdoor events with the same capacity, per AP.

  • Earlier Tuesday, the Israeli Health Ministry announced that both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers coming to Israel from the U.S. and 17 other countries will be required to complete a two-week quarantine, starting Aug. 11, AP reports.
  • Israeli officials also noted that a new lockdown could occur this fall if cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase, the Jerusalem Post reported.
"The Delta epidemic is extremely contagious, and is spreading all over the world. Avoid crowds, and get vaccinated – now. Otherwise, there will be no choice but to impose more severe restrictions, including a lockdown."
— Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, per the Jerusalem Post

State of play: Last week the Israeli government announced it would start administering booster shots to people over age 60.

  • In July, government officials announced that starting Aug. 8 individuals who attend social events will be required to show proof of vaccination or provide negative COVID-19 tests.
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