Just before the start of a cabinet meeting on Sunday, several Israeli ministers were heard admitting that some coronavirus restrictions such as the controversial Green Pass vaccine passport were enforced simply for the purpose of pushing people to get vaccinated, rather than for epidemiological reasons, as ministers said they were concerned that the unvaccinated were filling hospital beds.
The ministers were overheard “saying that some coronavirus-related restrictions are only aimed at incentivizing vaccination, rather than driving down morbidity,” the Times of Israel reported.
NEW – Israeli Ministry of Health (right) recorded saying to the Minister of Interior (left) "there is no medical or epidemiological justification for the Covid passport, it is only intended to pressure the unvaccinated to vaccinate".pic.twitter.com/c3oAOpZdEE
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“I also think you can remove the Green Pass for outdoor restaurants,” Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz. The Green Pass is the nation’s vaccine passport, which is required to enter most indoor venues, and outdoor venues attracting many people.
“In pools, too, not just in restaurants. Epidemiologically it’s correct,” Horowitz responded to Shaked, basically admitting vaccine certification was not necessary for outdoor venues.
“The thing is, I’m telling you this, our problem is people who don’t get vaccinated. We need [to influence] them a bit; otherwise, we won’t get out of this [pandemic situation].” the health minister added. He added that he was not ready to relax the rules “because then they will say – if not pools, then why water parks?”
“Still, we don’t want to do things that don’t have medical justification,” Shaked countered.
Horowitz argued that if the pass “is not enforced, especially in the Arab sector… it does not exist, and I see it in hospitals. It’s overloading the hospitals.”