Is UK facing disaster? Israel reintroduces strict rules after relaxing Covid measures

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On Thursday the country recorded 855 new cases, the highest figure since March 22. The government has reintroduced the legal requirement to wear masks in public places, just two weeks after it was dropped.

Anyone who ignores the ruling can be fined 500 shekel (£110).

Quarantine has also been reintroduced for all those arriving in Israel.

This is set at 24 hours for most countries, rising to seven days for countries deemed high risk.

The UK, which is battling a surge in cases of the Delta coronavirus variant, will be added to the high-risk list next week.

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new Prime Minister, is urging children aged 12-16 to get vaccinated, along with adults.

He warned: “The vaccine is not sufficient to fight against the Delta variant.

“We need the co-operation of citizens to defeat the coronavirus without having to impose a new lockdown.

“We can beat coronavirus in five weeks — it’s just up to us.”

Mr Bennett added another lockdown, “jailing people in their homes”, would only be used as a “last resort”.

Over the past week, Israel recorded 11 coronavirus related deaths, whilst 16 patients are currently receiving respiratory assistance in hospital.

The Israeli government has reintroduced plans for vaccine passports, which had been scrapped last month.

Renamed the “happy pass”, it will be required for those attending weddings and other mass inside events.


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Today is Tisha b’Av, a fasting day for Jews, which marks the start of the traditional Jewish wedding season.

Authorities are urging wedding organisers to ensure guests have either been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.

Israel has one of the world’s most advanced vaccination programmes, raising fears new Covid measures will follow in other countries.

On Friday another 51,870 coronavirus infections were recorded across the UK, the highest figure since mid-January.

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Another 49 people died, within 28 days of a positive Covid test, across the country.

Boris Johnson has confirmed on Monday England’s “Freedom Day” will go ahead.

All remaining coronavirus restrictions on socialising will be ended, allowing nightclubs to reopen for the first time in over a year.

Theatres and sports stadiums can expect bigger crowds, as their capacity limits are removed.

Social distancing rules will end, allowing handshakes between strangers to return.

However, Mr Johnson has urged “caution”, warning “this pandemic is not over”.

The Prime Minister added: “We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday, July 19 to life as it was before Covid.”

More than 128,000 people have died, across Britain, since the pandemic began.
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