Israel drops indoor mask rule as Covid infections wane

About 55 per cent of country’s 9.3 million population are fully vaccinated

Shoppers at the crowded Carmel market in southern Tel Aviv in April. Photograph: Getty Images

Shoppers at the crowded Carmel market in southern Tel Aviv in April. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Israel told its citizens they could stop wearing masks indoors on Tuesday, ending one of its last main restrictions as new Covid-19 infections continued to wane even as vaccinations tapered off after a record rollout.

Children headed to school and adults to work without masks for the first time in more than a year. Israelis have not had to wear masks outdoors since April.

About 55 per cent of Israel’s 9.3 million population are fully vaccinated – a turnout largely unchanged by this month’s expansion of eligibility to include 12- to 15-year-olds.

Israel has this month logged either zero or one daily Covid-19 deaths, Health Ministry data show. New infections have been in a steady but gentle decline after a steep drop-off in February and March.

The ministry said masks would still be required of unvaccinated patients or staff in medical facilities, of people en route to quarantine and of passengers on commercial flights. – Reuters