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IDF restricts access to military camps to Green Pass holders only

With 80% of eligible soldiers inoculated with a booster, starting October 14 conscripts will have to present proof of vaccination or recovery to enter bases

In this handout photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on August 31, 2021, a soldier receives a coronavirus vaccine booster shot. (Israel Defense Forces)
In this handout photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on August 31, 2021, a soldier receives a coronavirus vaccine booster shot. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces will only allow soldiers who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 into bases starting next week, according to updated guidelines published by the military on Tuesday.

The move came as the Health Ministry updated its coronavirus guidelines, dictating that the so-called Green Pass will only be available for those who have been administered a COVID booster shot.

So far, some 80 percent of soldiers eligible have received their booster dose, the IDF said. Thousands more will receive a third vaccine dose this week, the military added.

Starting October 14, only those with a Green Pass or a recent negative COVID test will be allowed to enter IDF bases, according to the new guidelines.

Conscripted soldiers who do not have a Green Pass will be required to take periodic tests on base, the IDF said, adding that frequency will be determined by military medical officials within the next two weeks.

Permanent service members, such as officers, who do not have a Green Pass will be required to present a negative test before entering a military base.

The guidelines for civilian employees in the army have yet to be decided.

In this handout photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on December 20, 2020, a medical officer prepares a coronavirus vaccine. (Israel Defense Forces)

Separately, units with at least 90% of their members holding a Green Pass will not be required to operate in socially distanced pods, and will be permitted to hold larger gatherings.

Last month, amid a rise in coronavirus cases, the IDF restricted callup of reservists to only those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.

As of Monday morning, 1,486 people in the military, including conscripted soldiers, officers, NCOs and civilian employees, were infected with COVID-19, the IDF said.

That number was down since last week, when there were 1,854 active coronavirus cases in the military.

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

An additional 890 troops and employees were self-isolating after coming into contact with confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday morning.

Cabinet ministers on Sunday decided to retain the new Green Pass requirements for the general population, despite Health Ministry officials reportedly wanting to cancel the rules for outdoor gatherings. Israelis will now have to scan the pass’s QR code when entering public areas that require it, rather than just displaying the certificate.

Starting Thursday, the Green Pass will be valid for six months after a person’s last vaccine shot, a change in policy that affects between 1.7 million and 1.9 million Israelis, according to Hebrew media reports.

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