Health Ministry said set to recommend allowing concerts with crowds of 50,000

Report says that if COVID-19 infections stay low, Israel will resume massive performances for Green Pass holders this summer

A sold-out crowd at Rishon Lezion's Live Park, at a Daddy Yankee concert on June 26, 2019. (Courtesy Live Nation)
A sold-out crowd at Rishon Lezion's Live Park, at a Daddy Yankee concert on June 26, 2019. (Courtesy Live Nation)

If coronavirus infections stay low, the Health Ministry will reportedly recommend allowing massive concerts with up to 50,000 spectators this summer.

The concerts will only be available to those holding a so-called Green Pass proving that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease, the Kan public broadcaster reported Tuesday, citing unnamed ministry sources.

Earlier this month, the cap on crowds attending outdoor sports and culture events was raised from 5,000 to 10,000.

Tuesday’s report said the Health Ministry would back additional measures enabling more people to attend culture, sports and children’s events.

One of the ideas is scrapping rapid PCR tests for kids — regarded as a failure — and instead holding mass events for children, who can’t yet get vaccinated, with mandatory masks and social distancing rules. The idea will be discussed in the coming days, according to the report.

After suffering a severe third wave of the pandemic, Israel’s situation has rapidly improved in recent months, as it has carried out one of the world’s fastest per capita vaccination drives. Over half of the population is fully inoculated against COVID-19, and the results have been evident, with the number of daily new cases and serious cases plummeting to levels not seen in many months.

Beitar Jerusalem fans cheer during the State Cup match between Beitar Jerusalem F.C. and Ashdod F.C. in the Teddy stadium, Jerusalem, on March 17, 2021. (Flash90)

As the caseload has dropped, Israel has gradually rolled back coronavirus restrictions by opening businesses, event venues and other activities.

This has included raising the number of people allowed to gather outdoors from 50 to 100, while keeping the limit of 20 people indoors in place.

Cultural venues are allowed to host up to 750 people under the Green Pass program, up from the previous limit of 500. Indoor arenas can host up to 4,000 seated people.

National virus czar Nachman Ash has said that the entire economy will be able to fully reopen next month if there is no new rise in contagion.

Israel on Sunday also dropped its mandate to wear masks outdoors.

On Sunday, as the mask mandate was being removed, Ash told Kan that “we are nearing the day we can hold big concerts.”

The Health Ministry has predicted that vaccination for 12- to 15-year-olds will begin next month.

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