Israel’s vaccination rollout. Image Credit: President Rivlin at a vaccination centre, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Israel’s health ministry announced on Sunday that it would lift nearly all the remaining coronavirus restrictions from 1 June.

Health minister Yuli Edelstein said that the government would not seek to renew regulations requiring businesses and venues to operate under either the Green Pass or Purple Standard systems, which are due to expire on 31 May.

Rules requiring people to wear masks indoors are similarly being assessed, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

Restrictions on airports and travel would continue however, as Edelstein called on Israelis to avoid traveling to countries with high morbidity, adding Argentina, the Seychelles and Russia to the severe travel warning list, alongside India, South Africa and Turkey.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Israel has fallen to 500, down from 88,000 at the pandemic’s peak.

“Israel is going back to normal”, Edelstein said. “Less than half a year ago we started the vaccination campaign. Thanks to the excellent work of the health system – health funds, hospitals, MDA, Magen Israel and employees of the health ministry – and thanks to the amazing mobilisation of Israeli citizens, we have carried out the best vaccination campaign in the world”.

Edelstein also warned that, should the morbidity rate rise again, it would be necessary to reimpose restrictions.