Jerusalem. Sunday, 9 a.m. At the corner of Jaffa and King Georges streets, the buses and the tram are relieved of waves of passengers removing their masks. Inside, these are compulsory, outside, they haven’t been since Sunday. Israeli Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein announced Thursday evening, on the sidelines of the celebrations for the anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel, the lifting of the obligation to wear the mask in public places outside of the favor of an intense vaccination campaign against the coronavirus.
This was made possible thanks to an agreement between the Hebrew state and the German pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. In exchange for quick access to millions of doses of the vaccine, Israel, which has digitized medical data of its entire population, provided Pfizer with data on the effect of the vaccination.
80% of the population over 20 received both doses
As soon as the health authorities announced it, the masks began to disappear. On Thursday evening, in the bars of the central market of Mahané Yehuda in Jerusalem, smiles were once again visible on their faces.
Since December, nearly five million Israelis (53% of the population) have received both doses of the vaccine, or about 80% of the population over the age of 20 according to official data from the country which has recorded some 836,000 cases. of Covid-19 and more than 6,300 deaths.