The nation is reopening after having some of the worst infection rates for months, as many flouted lockdowns, and more recently, a British variant of the disease ran rampant. Commercial activity largely sputtered to a halt. “For Rent” signs have proliferated on the once-bustling seaside avenues of this city.
The opening up and use of what officials are calling green passports, which allow people to enter gyms and hotels and eventually embark on quarantine-free travel, set up a test for one of the most closely watched countries during the pandemic: Can Israel return to relative normalcy without slipping back into peak infection rates and overwhelming its healthcare system?
To strike that balance, officials are warning those who shun the national vaccination campaign that they will be shut out of everyday activities. “Anyone who does not get vaccinated will be left behind,” Israel’s health minister Yuli Edelstein said.