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Bennett says tighter testing rules needed amid shortage concerns

A healthcare worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a drive-thru coronavirus testing facility in Jerusalem on January 2, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
A healthcare worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a drive-thru coronavirus testing facility in Jerusalem on January 2, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett suggests the government may tighten the criteria to receive a COVID-19 test amid concerns of a shortage as the Omicron variant fuels a surge in new coronavirus cases.

“We will need to raise the threshold for who can get tested, because the testing system doesn’t have enough capacity — no country does,” Bennett says during the weekly cabinet meeting, according to Channel 12 news.

His remarks come as long lines at testing sites are reported around the country.

“We are doing the most tests in the world relatively, so there are lines,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is quoted as saying during the meeting.

He also reportedly warns: “This will be an extreme but short wave.”

Also during the meeting, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov calls for ending quarantine rules for vaccinated Israelis returning from abroad.

“I hope that at the same time we will allow the return of vaccinated foreigners to Israel. The tourism industry and the economy can’t continue to bear the burden,” he says, according to Army Radio.

Bennett responds: “That will probably happen this week.”

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