THE mask mandate has been forsaken in Israel from today after the order to don them outdoors was deserted – as 81% of adults have received both coronavirus jabs.
The country has become the envy of the world thanks to its amazing Pfizer-BioNTech powered vaccine rollout and has provided a thrilling look into the future post-pandemic.
Israelis enjoyed a mask free day out for the first time since last yearCredit: AFP
Approximately 81% of over 16’s have received both vaccine doses, which has seen a sharp decrease in hospitalisations and outbreaks – a promising prospect for the UK, who have seen similar success with the vaccine rollout.
Britain is also on course to exceed vaccine expectations, with 10 million second doses expected to have been administered by tomorrow.
Israelis went barefaced for the first time since last year on Sunday, after the mandatory face-covering rule was rescinded.
“We are leading the world right now when it comes to emerging from the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excitedly announced.
“(But) we have still not finished with the coronavirus. It can return.”
The step was celebrated with the slogan “Breathing Freely” on the country’s number one daily newspaper, the Israel Hayom.
81% of the adult population has now received both vaccine dosesCredit: AP
The Health Ministry has encouraged people to keep masks handy as they are still mandatory in indoor public spacesCredit: Reuters
Amitai Hallgarten, 19, told Reuters: “Being without a mask for the first time in a long time feels weird. But it’s a very good weird.
“If I need to be masked indoors to finish with this – I’ll do everything I can.”
The wearing of protective masks outdoors, enforced by police since last year for non-excercise activities, was today eliminated.
However, the Health Ministry urged people to keep masks on their person due to the requirement still applying for indoor public spaces.
The Israeli Covid chief Nachman Asch has said the entire economy could be able to reopen fully next month, as long as there is no new rise in cases.
Some restrictions still apply to foreigners and un-vaccinated Israeli’s returning from abroad must still self isolate – over concerns of other variants ravaging the vaccine success.
The Health Ministry said seven cases of the new Indian variant have been detected in Israel.
Yet the risks to youngsters have also not been forgotten, as middle school pupils joined kindergarteners, elementary and high school students in the return to school.
Teachers will continue to ventilate classrooms and enforce social distancing during lessons and breaks to keep infections at bay.
“This is still a non-vaccinated population (children under the age of 16) that we want to safeguard,” Health Ministry official Sharon Alroy-Preis told Israel’s Army Radio.
People enjoyed a much-welcome sense of normality on SundayCredit: AFP