Daily US Times: Israel is easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions as studies there reveal the Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is 98.9% effective in preventing hospitalisations and death.
From Sunday, libraries, shops and museums can open but social distancing and masks are still required.
The health ministry of Israel says it is the first stage of returning to normal life.
The country has the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 49% of people have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Israel entered its third lockdown on 27 December after a resurgence of the virus.
Under the easing restrictions, people are now able to enter shopping malls and tourist attractions such as zoos.
A number of other facilities are now able to reopen including hotels, synagogues and gyms. However they require a “green passport”, a certificate that can only given to people who have been vaccinated.
A small number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 and are not currently eligible for the vaccine are also able to obtain the certificate.
The green passport, which is contained in an app, is issued by the Israeli health ministry and will be valid for six months, one week after the second dose.
Crowds are now allowed back at sporting events and concerts have reopened at 75% capacity but they have a cap of no more than 300 people inside and 500 outside.
Despite the easing of restrictions, the country’s airport will remain closed for another two weeks.
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