Israel cuts Covid isolation time

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Israel cuts Covid isolation time

Health minister Nitzan Horowitz said the new measures would allow Israelis to “live alongside the coronavirus”

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccines in central Israeli city of Givatayim,   (Photo by Muammar Awad/Xinhua)
People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccines in central Israeli city of Givatayim, (Photo by Muammar Awad/Xinhua)

Israel has shortened the isolation period for Covid carriers to seven days and advised self-testers to always swab their throat as authorities seek to overcome the disruption caused by the Omicron variant.

Health minister Nitzan Horowitz said the new measures would allow Israelis to “live alongside the coronavirus” and keep the economy functioning while avoiding a fresh lockdown measures.

Prime minister Naftali Bennett said there was no other way to combat the pandemic.

He said in a televised address on Tuesday: “We saw that other countries imposed measures as harsh as a lockdown. The Netherlands, for example, imposed a total lockdown, but it didn’t help. We have to manage this tsunami.”

He also called on parents to vaccinate their children because the Omicron variant “does not skip children”.

“When I look at charts of hospitalised children from around the world, I think of our unvaccinated children and I am heartbroken.”

Meanwhile, officials followed Britain in reducing the number of self-isolation days following a positive infection from 10 to seven after evidence showed most carriers were not infectious after a week.

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