A cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, arrived at the decision early on Monday despite calls to postpone the reopening at least for a month due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases caused by the more contagious Delta variant.
Almost 200 people have died of Covid-19 over the past week in Israel, which only recently celebrated victory over the virus. There were 6,467 new infections in the country in past 24 hours, with 1,142 people remaining in hospitals, according to the Health Ministry. The largescale booster shot campaign, which already saw 1.4 million Israelis getting their third dose of the vaccine, hasn’t yet been able to reverse the alarming trend.
For offline classes to go on without disruption in such conditions, “pupils… will be vaccinated on school grounds during school hours, subject to parental approval,” a government statement read. Children over 12 are eligible for Covid-19 shots in the country, with 30% of those between 12 and 15 already being fully vaccinated.
The ministers also implemented the so-called ‘green pass’ policy for all teachers and school staff, meaning they would only be allowed in their workplaces after presenting a vaccination certificate or negative coronavirus tests.