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Officials to weigh ending quarantine for vaccinated Israelis exposed to Omicron

A COVID-19 rapid antigen test being carried out at a Magen David Adom testing center in Jerusalem, on December 22, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
A COVID-19 rapid antigen test being carried out at a Magen David Adom testing center in Jerusalem, on December 22, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Health Ministry is expected to weigh ending its regulation requiring fully vaccinated and boosted Israelis to quarantine after coming in contact with a positive case of the Omicron COVID variant.

Multiple health officials have said throughout the day that such a change is expected to come sometime in the next week or two, as close to 100,000 Israelis are currently in quarantine. More than 40,000 of those are school-age children.

Senior COVID expert Ran Balicer tells Channel 13 news that such a change is expected, and Channel 12 news reports that it could come as early as next week.

For months, fully vaccinated Israelis — who either have a booster dose or were vaccinated or recovered in the past six months — were not required to quarantine after coming in contact with a positive COVID patient.

With the outbreak of the new Omicron variant, the Health Ministry mandated a 7-day quarantine for those who come in contact with someone with the new variant, or someone who is suspected of being infected with the new variant — even if considered fully vaccinated.

So far, 1,118 Omicron cases have been confirmed in Israel.

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