Israel on Sunday introduced special relief for citizens who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered from illness. With a Green Pass you can visit gyms, hotels, theaters or sporting events again. Health Minister Juli Edelstein wrote on Twitter that more than 3.2 million Israelis could now enjoy these benefits.
The aim is to stimulate the economy in the country again. “ The Green Pass is gradually opening the country again,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening. The vaccination campaign in Israel is very advanced compared to other countries. The country with its 9.3 million inhabitants is considered a pioneer. Every citizen from the age of 16 can now be vaccinated. The number of infections in the country is still comparatively high, but has fallen steadily over the past few weeks.
As part of a second opening step after a week-long lockdown, shopping centers, museums, libraries and houses of prayer were also opened to non-vaccinated people on Sunday. The corona rules such as mask requirement and distance must also be observed there. The schools were also opened to other classes.
In Israel, anyone who has recovered or who has been vaccinated can create a vaccination card online one week after the second vaccination. Personal information can be read using a simple QR code. Owners of such a vaccination card can then have a green passport issued, among other things via a special app.
On the first day, however, not everything went smoothly: The “Ramzor” app, which can be used to create the Green Pass on smartphones, kept crashing with numerous users. The Ministry of Health then announced that the vaccination card could alternatively be shown in the first two weeks.
The Ministry of Health has agreed measures with the police to prevent counterfeiting. Companies face hefty fines for violations, and Health Minister Juli Edelstein even threatened forgers the Green Pass with imprisonment.
The re was strong criticism from parents that distance learning via video conferencing software Zoom continues in middle schools while shopping centers are already open. Opponents of the vaccination also criticized the advantages offered by the Green Pass as an unjust and illegitimate means of pressure on the part of the government.
The head of a fitness chain, on the other hand, spoke of a “fantastic opening” on Sunday. The vaccinated, who could do sports again after months in the studio, are “happy that they are entering a green island where they are not in danger,” she told the news website ynet.
The Israeli National The ater Habima in Tel Aviv installed a screen with facial recognition software at the entrance after it reopened on Sunday. “In the Corona crisis, we can help all institutions that quickly let in a large number of people and have to check their identities,” said Ejal Fischer from the Preciate startup. The software only needs a second for detection and can also prevent counterfeiting, said Fischer. The ater-goers could either scan their ID card with a picture online or register on the spot the first time they visit. The software has been donated to the National The ater, and it usually costs up to 1,500 shekels (around 380 euros) a month per station with a screen.
In total, around 4.3 million first and almost three million second vaccinations have been given in Israel since December 19. (apa)