In Brief: Israel waves goodbye to its Covid indoor mask mandate

Israelis are no longer required to wear masks indoors, more than a year after the public was instructed to do so as the coronavirus pandemic began.

Health Ministry director-general Professor Chezy Levy signed an amendment to the public health order on Monday evening to abolish the obligation to wear a mask in closed spaces as of Tuesday 15 June.

The signing of the order will allow businesses and venues to resume operating as they did before the pandemic. Masks will no longer be required in places of commerce, workspaces, educational institutions and other enclosed public spaces.

The change is subject to a small number of exceptions, including for unvaccinated guests, employees and people who have not had the coronavirus in the context of assisted living facilities and health institutions housing patients admitted for long hospital stays.

People entering coronavirus isolation, and passengers on flights, will also still be required to wear masks under the changes.

In line with the changes, the IDF will officially abolish the requirement for soldiers to wear masks.

The lifting of the mask mandate, Levy clarified, extended to the public transportation sector, though he recommended in an interview with Ynet that passengers still wear masks.

Monday saw 25 new coronavirus cases in Israel, with only 0.01 percent of tests returning positive.