Israelis’ Concern Over COVID’s Return Growing Noticeably
Judging from the degree to which Israelis are insisting that their countrymen wear masks in public settings and indoor spaces, the nation is clearly growing jittery over a series of troubling reports on the coronavirus. News of the delta variant being discovered in Israel was followed by a report that the Pfizer vaccine, the figurative hero of the world-leading campaign to halt the spread of COVID-19, was determined to have a 67% efficacy rate against the latest strain as opposed to the 95% that had become a source of national pride and, more importantly, national confidence. The Health Ministry has now reclosed Israel’s borders to most nonresidents, effectively cutting off the welcome return of the travel dollar to the economy. The previous three days each have seen in excess of 500 new cases of the coronavirus. One of those cases proved to be the new “delta plus” variant, brought to the Jewish state by a returning traveler. In response, Jerusalem plans to invoke a new regulation that requires all returnees – including those vaccinated in Israel – to go into quarantine upon arrival until new test results show negative.