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Friday, February 3, 2023

COVID: Cabinet to discuss limiting Western Wall worshipers

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The coronavirus cabinet is set to meet on Monday evening to discuss whether to introduce a requirement to present a green pass for all workers in education and health institutions, as well as for those who work in venues where the customers are required to present the document.

In addition, the cabinet is expected to approve an outline to hold the ‘selichot’ prayers at the Western Wall.

Selichot are penitential poems recited every night in the period leading to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In normal years, up to tens of thousands of people can flock to the Western Wall to attend one of the sessions.

According to the plan that ministers will discuss, up to 8,000 worshipers will be allowed in each time, divided in capsules. Masks are going to be mandatory.

Coronavirus regulations are kept at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In the morning, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a meeting with several officials from different ministers on the current situation of the country in the fight against the pandemic.

Some 6,576 new cases were identified on Sunday – a lower number than on previous weekdays but with a lower number of tests processed (around 90,000 compared to 150,000). At the same time, some 7.8% of the people screened tested positive, the highest in several months.

As of Monday morning, the number of serious patients stood at 731, similar to the one on the previous day.

At the same time, the vaccination campaign is proceeding at full speed. Some 80,000 people got a shot on Sunday, including some 10,000 individuals who received the first dose and some 6,000 the second.

The eligibility for the booster was opened to all people inoculated for at least five months on Sunday.

So far some 2.04 million Israelis have gotten the third doses.

Experts say that thanks to the effect of the vaccination campaign the outbreak is slowing down, among others allowing the school year to open on time on Wednesday.


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