A month after its last meeting, Israel’s ministerial committee on fighting the coronavirus pandemic convened on Sunday and issued a final decision on the new “green pass” system, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The gathering of the committee, familiarly known as the Coronavirus Cabinet, coincided with the deadline for implementation of a series of actions that ministers in attendance said the government is taking to prevent lockdowns and other restrictions.

The Cabinet decided that as of Tuesday, Oct. 5, the new “green pass” must be scanned by barcode at the entrance to places of business; enforcement will begin on Thursday.

The new pass—valid for up to six months—will allow entry into all places of business; those who do not meet the criteria will need to present a negative PCR test.

According to the Cabinet, exceptions will be made for museums and libraries.

At the start of the meeting, attended by dozens of political and health officials, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Friends, the news is good. We have started to block the Delta strain [of the virus], but it would be very dangerous now to let down our guard. It is precisely when this wave of the virus is starting to subside that we must do everything to make sure there is no resurgence.”

He continued: “We must continue to tightly manage the situation and not convey to the public that masks may be taken off; on the contrary.”

He stressed that the mission is for the economy to “stay as open as possible,” through “wide-scale testing, vaccinations and booster shots, close and dynamic management of the situation and personal responsibility by citizens.”

Another “urgent task,” he said, “is to finish … with quarantines in schools,” adding that “parents need to be able to go to work and families need stability.”

“We are currently preparing the infrastructure for the millions of antigen tests that will make this possible,” he said, warning against “complacency.”

“What happened could happen again,” he said.

JNS

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