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Vaccinated Israelis May Need to Quarantine Because of Delta Variant

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel empowered health officials on Wednesday to quarantine anyone deemed to have been exposed to an especially infectious variant of COVID-19, even if they were previously vaccinated or recovered from the disease with presumed immunity.The decision followed a warning by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday over new outbreaks caused by the Delta variant, with daily infections rising after weeks of low plateau credited to Israel’s record mass-vaccination drive.webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1122′,pos: 1122});Under the updated Health Ministry directives, vaccinated or formerly infected people can be ordered to self-isolate for up to 14 days if authorities believe they may have been in “close contact with a carrier of a dangerous virus variant”.Such proximity could include having been passengers on the same plane, the ministry said – a possible dampener on Israel’s gradual opening of its borders to vaccinated summer tourists.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-520′,pos: 520});Addressing parliament, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said fines of “thousands of shekels” would also be levied against Israeli citizens or residents who travel to countries blacklisted as high COVID-19 risks.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1520′,pos: 1520});On June 16, the Health Ministry listed Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico and Russia as off-limits to Israeli citizens or residents unless they receive special permission.Some 55% of Israel’s 9.3 million population have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and a steep drop in cases had prompted most economic restrictions to be lifted.Eligibility for the shots was extended to 12- to 15-year-olds last month but turnout in that age group has been low. Alarmed by contagions in two Israeli schools last week, Bennett urged parents to vaccinate their adolescents.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-141′,pos: 141});The Health Ministry said on Wednesday that parents of children who violate quarantine would face fines of 5,000 shekels ($1,540).Bennett said a new “corona cabinet”, or ministerial task force to deal with the pandemic, would be established as part of the new government sworn in this month.($1 = 3.2523 shekels)

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Reuters Health Information © 2021 

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