Israel Begins To Use a "green Pass" To Allow Vaccinated People Into Gyms, Theaters And Hotels

Israel took this Sunday one more step towards its de-escalation with the reopening of a large part of the businesses and has begun the use of the green certificate, by which it only allows access to certain spaces to those vaccinated or those who have recovered from COVID-19 .

Shops at street level that were still closed, open-air markets, shopping centers, libraries or museums were able to reopen to everyone with strict rules for the prevention of the virus. In turn, students in the fifth and sixth years of primary school and in the last two years of secondary school can return to classrooms in areas with a low morbidity rate, after the youngest, in preschool and lower primary grades, already did more than a week ago.

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Gymnasiums, swimming pools, hotels and spaces for sporting or cultural events – such as theaters – are also allowed to open, but only citizens who have already received two doses of the vaccine or have overcome the coronavirus are allowed to enter.

Citizens can prove their status with the so-called “Green Pass”, a six-month digital document that identifies their data with a QR Code. “We are the first country in the world to recover thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought in,” tweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting a gym on Saturday to ask Israelis to use the new system. “Vaccinated? Get the Green Pass and come back to life. “

The pass can be obtained in an application of the Ministry of Health linked to medical files that was launched this week. The website of the Ministry of Health that issues the passes was blocked hours before the system came into operation, as reported last Saturday by the newspaper Times of Israel.

There is a heavy load on the Green Pass issuing service, so there may be difficulties, “the ministry said.” At the same time, most applications have been successfully completed and tens of thousands of people already have their Pass. Green. “According to the same newspaper, the pass has suffered other problems, with complaints from thousands of people who have tried to falsify it to participate in the new permitted activities.

The lifting of restrictions is part of the second phase of the de-escalation that Israel began on February 7, after a third six-week national lockdown. The third stage is expected to begin on March 7, when the reopening of cafes or restaurants is expected, or the return to school of students from courses that for now continue with virtual classes.

The gradual reopening in the country continues while the Ben Gurion international airport has been almost completely closed since the end of January to avoid the entry of variants, and this week its closure was extended until March 6.

Israel is also making progress in its vaccination campaign, the fastest in the world: more than 45% of the population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Likewise, almost 2.9 million inhabitants have already received the second.

In addition, the rate of infections has been decreasing in recent weeks, and according to Health data published this Saturday, mortality from COVID-19 was reduced by 98.9% among those who received the second dose of the vaccine after at least 14 days.

The government seeks to immunize the majority of the population at the end of March, when the country will hold general elections. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Israel, with 9.2 million inhabitants, has registered almost 750,000 infections and 5,526 deaths.

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