Israel scraps indoor mask order as COVID-19 infections wane

Reuters

Posted at Jun 16 2021 07:56 AM

Israel scraps indoor mask order as COVID-19 infections wane 1
People visit Dizengoff shopping center as Israel ends one of its last main restrictions of mask wearing in indoor spaces as new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections continue to wane, in Tel Aviv, Israel June 15, 2021. Nir Elias, Reuters

JERUSALEM - 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% 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. (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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