Israel has almost emerged from its Covid closures, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on the campaign trail, declared on Sunday, as restaurants reopened under an exit plan fuelled by fast-paced vaccinations.
“We still have to watch ourselves, we have to wear masks, keep distances that people require, social distances - but we’re coming out of it, and there’s not much more,” Netanyahu told Reuters.
As 53% of Israelis having received at least one dose of the Pfizer Inc vaccine, according to health ministry data, the government has been gradually reopening businesses, schools and the country’s main airport with caps on capacity.
Some leisure venues have limited access to customers who can prove Covid immunity with a so-called “Green Pass” issued by the health ministry, in what officials hope will win over Israelis still reluctant to get vaccinated.
But some health experts warned rising contagions could trigger another lockdown- a possible dampener for Netanyahu ahead of the 23 March ballot.