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Israel issues new proof-of-vaccine, recovery documents valid until end of 2021

Health Ministry acts to prevent current documentation expiring without replacement, potentially leaving Israelis unable to travel

A woman shows her 'Green Pass' as she arrives at a theater in Jerusalem on February 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A woman shows her 'Green Pass' as she arrives at a theater in Jerusalem on February 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel has begun issuing new documentation with proof of virus vaccination or recovery that will be valid until the end of the year.

The new documentation can be downloaded from the Health Ministry’s website here.

The Health Ministry told the Ynet news site it was acting to ensure that the current certification won’t lapse, leaving people without the means to travel or requiring them to undergo expensive testing.

Last month, the Health Ministry announced that it would be extending the validity of the Green Pass for those vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recovered from coronavirus, through 2021. The initial certificates were valid for just six months; at the time of their issuance, it was still unknown how long the vaccines’ protection would last.

Since that announcement, Israel has scrapped the need for the pass to gain access to venues or events inside the country, meaning that international travel is the only place the new passes will likely be required.

It is not immediately clear, however, which countries recognize the new documentation. Travelers should make specific inquiries with their country of destination.

The Health Ministry still recommends against any non-essential travel abroad.

Travelers at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on April 18, 2021 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

According to ministry data, over 5 million people in Israel have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and over 800,000 tested positive for COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic. Israel recently kicked off its vaccine drive for children aged 12 to 15, with 600,000 more people now eligible for inoculation.

The reports of the new certification came a day Israel lifted the mandate on wearing masks indoors, ending one of the last major remaining coronavirus restrictions in place. The pandemic has receded in Israel, with daily caseloads plummeting from the thousands seen at the start of the year to just single or low double digits.

However, the Health Ministry has continued to issue warnings against travel to a number of countries where there are outbreaks as part of attempts to reduce the importation of infection and potentially vaccine-resistant strains.

On Wednesday the ministry issued a “severe” warning against travel to the United Arab Emirates, adding the Gulf state to a list of countries that Israelis are advised not to visit due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Health officials have previously complained that lax treatment of UAE arrivals contributed to new infections, but politicians reportedly feared angering Emirati officials by applying new restrictions so soon after the two countries normalized their ties last year.

The ministry removed Peru from the severe warning list, which now includes the UAE, Uganda, Uruguay, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Tunisia.

Medical technicians test passengers for the coronavirus at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, on March 8, 2021. (Flash90)

A ministry statement said that if there is not a “significant improvement” in morbidity figures in those countries, they could be added to another list of countries deemed “maximum risk” to which Israelis are barred from traveling. That list includes Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico and Russia.

According to the latest Health Ministry figures, 13 new COVID cases were confirmed Wednesday, with 0.1 percent of the 21,581 tests performed coming back positive, after an outbreak in which 11 students were infected at a school in Modiin. Police were reportedly probing if the outbreak was caused by a man who violated quarantine after returning from abroad.

The ministry said there were 242 active infections in the country, with 25 people in serious condition. There have been 839,735 confirmed cases and 6,428 deaths from coronavirus in Israel since the start of the pandemic.

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