Israel re-opening a raft of businesses and services from pandemic lockdowns, but with some only available to fully vaccinated “green pass” holders.
Nearly three million people, almost a third of Israel’s population, have received the two recommended doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the world’s quickest inoculation pace per capita.
With a steady flow of data proving the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy in stopping serious illness from COVID-19, Israel’s government has begun gradually easing restrictions in place since December, when it imposed its third lockdown.
Shops were open to all, but access to gyms, hotels, and theatres was limited to people with a “Green Pass”: those who have had both doses of the vaccine more than a week prior, or recovered from the disease with presumed immunity.
Pass-holders could prove their status by presenting a vaccination certificate or downloading a health ministry app linked to their medical files.
“This is how the first stage will look in the return to your almost normal lives,” the Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein said. The pass is being launched on a mobile app that businesses must scan on entry, and many Israelis are excited.