Israel Welcomes In The Era Of Vaccine Passports As Concerts Kick-Off.
Israelis are being asked for evidence of vaccinations status before they are being allowed into busy locations such as bars, shopping centres, music venues or theatres.
Only those with a ‘green passport’ are permitted to enter certain locations as the country attempts a full reopening following the Covid-19 pandemic. People who have received the required two vaccinations receive a green passport which allows them greater freedom.
Even though Israel leads the world with the vaccine roll-out, so far only half of it’s nine million population has been administered with their jabs.
Israeli musician Aviv Geffen played a concert in front of 300 people, the first time he has performed live in almost a year. He told the crowd in Tel Aviv: ‘A miracle is happening here tonight.’
Anyone who refuses to get vaccinated will be prohibited from attending such events. People who have recovered from Covid-19 and can prove they have virus antibodies in their system are also entitled to a green passport.
The highly controlled concert offered a glimpse of a future that many are longing for after months of COVID-19 restrictions. Governments say getting vaccinated and having proper documentation will smooth the way to travel, entertainment and other social gatherings in a post-pandemic world.
But it also raises the prospect of further dividing the world along the lines of wealth and vaccine access, creating ethical and logistical issues that have alarmed decision-makers around the world.
Other governments are watching Israel’s progress as it churns through the world’s fastest vaccination program and grapples with the ethics of using the shots as diplomatic currency and power.
Two Israeli men in their twenties with no preexisting health conditions died of COVID-19 within hours of each other on Thursday, Feb 25. Ghazi Zoabi, 23, from the northern city of Nazareth, collapsed in his home and was hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors later pronounced his death.
Another man, 26, who was not identified, died earlier Thursday in Jerusalem. The resident of Ras al-Amud was brought to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in serious condition, where he tested positive for the virus. He died in the hospital.
Neither man was reported to have any underlying health conditions. The deaths come as officials have warned the virus is increasingly causing serious symptoms in younger people and pregnant women, a shift that has been blamed on new variants of the disease.
Israel’s largest HMO issued a report Thursday on the British coronavirus variant, which it says was the likely cause of a 70 per cent rise last month in serious COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated Israelis.
Health officials have urged pregnant women and all Israelis over 16 to get vaccinated.
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