Home LATEST WORLD NEWS Israel Eases Restrictions Following Vaccine Success

Israel Eases Restrictions Following Vaccine Success

Israel Eases Restrictions Following Vaccine Success

Israel is easing lockdown restrictions as studies there reveal the Pfizer vaccine is 95.8% effective in preventing hospitalizations and death, bbc.com reports.

From Sunday, shops, libraries and museums can open but social distancing and masks are still required.

The health ministry says it is the first stage of returning to normal life.

Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 49% of people have received at least one dose.

The country entered its third lockdown on 27 December after a resurgence of the virus.

Under the easing measures, people are now able to enter shopping malls and tourist attractions such as zoos.

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COVID-19

A number of other facilities are now able to reopen including gyms, hotels and synagogues. However they require a “green passport”, a certificate that can only be obtained once you have been vaccinated. A small number of people who have recovered from the virus and are not currently eligible for the vaccine are also able to obtain the certificate.

The passport, which is contained in an app, is issued by the health ministry and will be valid for six months, one week after the second dose.

Despite the easing of restrictions, Israel’s airport will remain closed for another two weeks.

On Saturday, the health ministry said studies revealed the risk of illness from the virus has dropped 95.8% among people who have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

COVID-19

It also found that the vaccine was 98% effective in preventing fever or breathing problems.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he expects 95% of Israelis over 50 to be vaccinated over the next two weeks.

It comes as the Palestinian Health Ministry struck a deal with Israel’s Health Ministry to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who work in the country.

It’s thought about five million Palestinians so far are waiting for their vaccines.

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