Boosted by its mass-vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel Sunday rescinded the law requiring the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors and fully reopened schools, in the latest return to relative normality.
With almost 54% of its 9.3 million population having received both shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Israel has logged sharp drops in contagion and cases.
The police-enforced wearing of protective masks outdoors, ordered a year ago, was scrapped from Sunday, but the Health Ministry said the requirement still applied for indoor public spaces and urged citizens to keep masks at hand.
With Israeli kindergarteners, elementary and high school students already back in class, middle school pupils who had been kept at home or attended class sporadically returned to pre-pandemic schedules.
The education ministry said that schools should continue to encourage personal hygiene, ventilation of classrooms and to maintain social distancing as much distance as possible during breaks and lessons.
Israel considers the East Jerusalem Palestinians to be among its population and also has been administering the vaccines there.
However, the 5.2 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have been receiving limited supplies of vaccines provided by Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the global COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme and China.
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