Israelis testing positive for COVID-19 will as of Tuesday no longer be required to enter quarantine, the country’s Health Ministry announced on Sunday.
However, although quarantine is no longer mandatory, it is still recommended, according to the ministry. Coronavirus patients who need to go out are instructed to wear a mask and avoid crowds.
Earlier this month, officials at Jerusalem’s Herzog Medical Center closed the hospital’s coronavirus ward, the last one operating in the country.
The ward’s closure means that future COVID-19 patients will be treated in regular hospital wards.
“We are closing the department with a sense of joy and pride. There is a feeling of real joy that the corona event, with its severe consequences, is behind us,” said Herzog director Dr. Kobi Haviv.
“We are the only hospital in Israel that worked and treated the corona patients continuously. The hospital staff was stretched to the limit during the waves of infection. For close to three years, we conducted ourselves according to the accordion method, with the transfer of medical and paramedical personnel between the departments, as needed,” he added.
The Health Ministry has recorded 12,500 Israeli deaths from the coronavirus since an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor became the country’s first fatality on March 20, 2020.
An estimated 6.8 million people have died of COVID world-wide.