Israel ends outdoor mask use in another step towards normality

Jerusalem, Apr 18 (EFE).- Israel took a further step toward normality as it lifted obligatory mask-use outdoors and in-person classes resumed at full capacity thanks to an advanced vaccine rollout.

Masks are mandatory indoors and health authorities recommend wearing them in large social meetings or crowded outdoor space.

   For that reason — or maybe through force of habit — many Israelis strolling through the streets of Jerusalem on Sunday wore their masks across their chin, ready to be deployed in case they enter a store or take public transport.

 Others, like Tuval Wolf, who spoke to Efe as he walked through the Holy City, chose to keep the mask on as normal.

“It’s been like a year and I wear a mask everyday, so I felt a bit naked going outside without it I guess,” he said.

Yoav Menuhin, 23, on the other hand, found it liberating to be without a mask.

“It’s been a rough year and a half (…) it feels good to breath without the filter of the mask, pretty awesome, pretty exciting time,” he told Efe.

Israel on Friday detected seven infections with the variant of coronavirus initially discovered in India. Authorities are investigating whether or not it resists the vaccine.

Health authorities urged people to continue following the new rules in place and maintain hygiene and physical distance as Israel has not reached herd immunity, according to the national Covid-19 coordinator, Nachman Ash.

Nearly 5 million out of Israel’s 9 million inhabitants are fully immunized, while at least 5.3 million have received the first dose, which led to a drop in deaths and severe cases.

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