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Health Ministry recommends return to mask wearing as COVID comes roaring back

A woman wearing a face mask walks in downtown Jerusalem, March 16, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A woman wearing a face mask walks in downtown Jerusalem, March 16, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry says people should start strapping masks back on their faces in enclosed spaces, with coronavirus infection numbers climbing yet again.

“With infection on the rise, we recommend going back to wearing a mask in closed spaces or gatherings,” the ministry says.

It notes a “sharp” jump in infection numbers in recent days, “along with a rise in the number of serious cases.

“In a situation in which the economy is completely open, normalcy is being preserved and there are no restrictions. It’s the responsibility of each of us to take precautions,” it says.

There is no indication that the recommendation will be enforced, but it could point to government restrictions coming back if infection figures continue to rise.

“This is not a requirement, but an act of solidarity and caring for your fellow man,” it says.

Israel dropped mask-wearing in April, as infection numbers fell off sharply. But since June 6, the rolling average of daily infections has jumped from 2,400 a day to nearly 5,000.

The government previously dropped an indoor mask requirement in June 2021, before slapping it back on two weeks later, as the Delta variant reared its head.

Outdoor masks have not been required since April of last year.

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