Have Antibodies, will travel! Israel’s new Coronavirus taskforce head Nachman Ash announced on Thursday that the country would start granting a new “green passport” for those who undergo serological testing and are found to be carrying antibodies for the coronavirus. These passports will quite possibly exempt travelers from undergoing quarantine periods on arrival since they’ve tested negative for the virus.
On Thursday, Ash stated that the paperwork would be issued to Israelis who are less likely to be infected or transmit the virus, including those who have recovered from the COVID-19. Chaling out the plan further, he claimed that health maintenance organizations (HMOs) will start conducting one million antibody tests, with those who receive confirmation of antibodies granted the documentation.
It is being speculated by various media outlets that the new paperwork will be able to allow Israelis to visit the “tourist islands” of Eilat and the Dead Sea without undergoing a coronavirus test before entry, and will also possibly exempt them from the compulsion of a 14-day quarantine/two-time coronavirus testing.
This being said, during his brief, Ash also pointed towards the seriousness of the pandemic, saying it could take a full year until the coronavirus pandemic ends. He said he would not hesitate to recommend a third national lockdown if necessary. “It will take time. There are difficult days ahead. It won’t be easy, it won’t be short. My working assumption is that the coronavirus will remain with us for the next year,” Ash said.“With the reopening of trade and studies, more personal responsibility is required before a rapid deterioration occurs. Will there be a third closure and when will it be? This is definitely on the agenda,” he said. “I will not hesitate in the future to recommend a national lockdown if it is required.”
Israel on Thursday surpassed 1,000 virus cases a day for the first time in a month, hinting that the spread of the virus may be gaining momentum again, for the third time. Meanwhile, students from grades 10-12 in low infection areas will go back to the classroom today, several malls have been re-opened in the country on Friday, and outdoor market areas and some museums will also be allowed to reopen as part of the pilot program