Israel to scrap COVID passport system as omicron wanes

Israel’s prime minister says the country’s coronavirus vaccination “green pass” system will be suspended as new daily cases of COVID-19 continue to decline

ByThe Associated Press
February 17, 2022, 5:23 AM
FILE - Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, holds a "Green Pass," for citizens vaccinated against COVID-19, as he visits a fitness gym with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, second right, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederikse
FILE - Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, holds a "Green Pass," for citizens vaccinated against COVID-19, as he visits a fitness gym with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, second right, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, left, to observe how the pass is used, in Modi'in, Israel, March 4, 2021. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, that the country’s coronavirus vaccination “green pass” system will be suspended as new daily cases of COVID-19 continue to decline. (Avigail Uzi/Pool via AP, File)
The Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- Israel’s prime minister says the country’s coronavirus vaccination “green pass” system will be suspended as new daily cases of COVID-19 continue to decline.

Naftali Bennett said Thursday after meeting with health officials that Israel’s omicron wave “has been broken” and that additional reductions in coronavirus restrictions were forthcoming.

The Green Pass, Israel's digital vaccination passport, limited entry to indoor venues and large gatherings to people who had recovered from coronavirus or received at least three doses of the vaccine.

Although new infections remain high, Israel’s health ministry has reported a steady decline in serious cases of COVID-19 since the peak of the country’s omicron wave earlier in February.

Israel raced out of the gate last year to vaccinate most of its adult population after striking a deal with Pfizer to trade medical data in exchange for a steady supply of doses. Around 48% of Israel’s 9.4 million people have received three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine since the country began rolling out immunizations in late 2020. Over 72% of the country has received at least one dose.

At least 9,710 people in Israel have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic two years ago.

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