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Israel has been praised around the world for its rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines, outstripping all other nations.
But, as the campaign bumped up against parts of the population who didn’t want a shot when it was their turn, officials turned harsher.
The nation is rolling out a two-tier system for its reopening, with incentives and freedoms for those who get a jab, and ostracism for those who don’t.
As of this week, Israel goals is to vaccinate its entire eligible population by the end of March.
More than 4 million people over the age of 16, which is two thirds of all who are eligible, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Israel’s health ministry said on February 16.
But vaccination rates dropped in the middle of February, prompting a harder policy.
From Sunday, as part of the government’s plan to exit its third lockdown, hotels, gym, shops, sporting events and cultural venues will open. But only for those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.
The scheme will be relying on what Israel calls its green badge, a certificate from the Ministry of Health for those who get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The badge will exist as a QR code on a government app developed by the government, according to Nachman Ash, Israel’s leading coronavirus official. People without smartphones can print it out instead.
Two weeks later, restaurants, events halls and conferences are also due to open to those who can show a certificate.
The government makes no secret of the fact that this system is meant to make more people get jabs.
In comments reported by The Jerusalem Post, health minister Yuli Edelstein told a meeting of ministers: “The people of Israel are getting vaccinated! And this is the way to fight coronavirus.
“The green passport is also our way of encouraging more and more people to get vaccinated and also true in its essence. Those who are vaccinated are not dangerous.”
His public statements are similar.
Here is a translation of a tweet Edelstein posted in Hebrew:
“On the verge of 4 million vaccinated! Today we will pass 4 million vaccinated in Israel, of which 2,612,000 have also received the second vaccine. We’re continuing to increase daily vaccinations: Yesterday 156,000 were vaccinated.
“Those who are not vaccinated will be left behind. The coronavirus cabinet has confirmed our stance that only vaccinated and recovering people will enjoy gyms and leisure culture. Go get vaccinated!”
על סף 4 מיליון מחוסנים! היום נעבור את 4 מיליון המחוסנים בישראל, מתוכם 2,612,000 קיבלו גם את החיסון השני. ממשיכים לעלות בחיסונים היומיים: אתמול חוסנו 156,000.
מי שלא יתחסן – יישאר מאחור. קבינט הקורונה אישר את עמדתנו שרק מתחסנים ומחלימים ייהנו מחדרי כושר ומתרבות הפנאי.לכו להתחסן! pic.twitter.com/tXhnYnRiAo
— Yuli Edelstein 🇮🇱 יולי אדלשטיין (@YuliEdelstein) February 16, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be right beind him. “Whoever doesn’t vaccinate endangers us all, because they can cause the health system to collapse”, Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting, the Times of Israel …read more
Source:: Business Insider