Israel lifts mandate for indoor mask as coronavirus cases decline

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel has lifted an indoor mask mandate in place for nearly a year as the country’s new cases of coronavirus continue to decline.

The termination of the masking claim came into effect on Saturday night. Masks remain mandatory on hospitals, geriatric care and on international flights.

Israel has seen new cases of COVID-19 fall since the peak of the latest wave of infections in January. Severe cases of coronavirus have dropped from a maximum of over 1,200 during the outbreak of the omicron variant to around 200.

Since the start of the pandemic two years ago, Israel has registered over 4 million cases of coronavirus and at least 10,658 deaths – over a fifth of them since January, according to the Ministry of Health.

Over 72% of the country’s 9.4 million people have at least one dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, and almost half have received three shots.

Israel closed its borders in November following the advent of the new omicron variant of the virus, but in recent months has reopened the country to foreign visitors and lifted almost all coronavirus restrictions.

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