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IDF restricts callup of reservists to COVID-vaccinated or recovered only

Amid surge in coronavirus cases in the military, reserve troops must present Green Pass when arriving for operational activity or training

Reservist soldiers take part in an IDF drill on March 21, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson Unit)
Reservist soldiers take part in an IDF drill on March 21, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson Unit)

The Israel Defense Forces will only bring in reserve duty troops who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, according to updated guidelines published by the military on Saturday.

The move comes amid a sharp rise in cases among soldiers and employees of the IDF.

As of Sunday morning, 637 people in the military, including conscripted soldiers, officers, NCOs and civilian employees, were infected with COVID-19, the IDF said.

That number has nearly doubled since last week when there were just 364 active coronavirus cases in the military.

An additional 1,167 troops and employees were self-isolating after coming into contact with confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday morning.

According to the new military guidelines, reservists arriving for operational activity or training exercises are required to present a valid Green Pass — proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus.

Other new guidelines in the IDF require troops to wear masks when gathering outdoors with over 100 others.

Israeli soldiers are seen wearing masks during Memorial Day at the Tzfat Military Cemetery, April 14, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Government ministers on Thursday approved significantly expanding restrictions on gatherings under the Green Pass system, which will now extend to hotels, restaurants and gyms. Gatherings of any size, indoors and out, are also now limited to those who have been vaccinated, recovered from the virus, or who present a negative COVID-19 test.

The IDF will also adopt the Green Pass for formal events with civilian guests, such as rank promotion ceremonies, commander changes, and exemplary service awards. Most other events will be restricted to soldiers only, the army said.

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