Israel resumes indoor mask requirement amid virus spike

The Israeli health ministry reimposed a requirement Friday for masks to be worn in enclosed public places following a surge in Covid cases.

The spike in infections is a blow for a country which has prided itself as one of the world’s most successful vaccine rollouts.

The head of Israel’s pandemic response taskforce said the requirement came after four days of over 100 new cases a day, with 227 cases confirmed on June 24.

He added, “We are seeing a doubling every few days. Another thing that’s worrying is that the infections are spreading. If we had two cities where most of the infections were, we have more cities where the numbers are rising and communities where the cases are going up.”

He said the rise in cases was likely due to the highly contagious Delta variant first seen in India.Reimposing the mask requirement is a setback for Israel, coming so soon after it was lifted on June 15 after a successful vaccination campaign.

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