Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, days after he was documented celebrating New Year’s at a crowded party without a mask.
The Yesh Atid deputy minister tested positive after his partner, Israeli singer Harel Skaat, was exposed to the virus and also tested positive.
Broad criticism, both from coalition and opposition members, was directed at Roll after an Instagram post by Skaat showed Roll celebrating New Year’s Eve on Friday in a crowded party without wearing a mask.
Roll initially defended his appearance at the party, stating the event was “held according to coronavirus restrictions” in a statement given to N12 on Saturday. “In addition, all participants were required to present a negative COVID-19 test from the day of the event.”
Roll did not come into contact with other MKs this week, and was not present at Yesh Atid’s faction meeting, although it was reported he was scolded by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid who stated that public figures must have “stricter than strict” standards to set an example.
Skaat, who announced that he tested positive on his Instagram page on Monday, said he was exposed to the virus via a stage manager at a venue where he performed, rather than at the New Year’s Eve party. “I wanted to be nice so I agreed to take a selfie behind the scenes – lesson learned,” he wrote.
Skaat also announced he was canceling all upcoming shows across the country.
As the latest COVID-19 wave caused by the Omicron variant begins to reach MKs and cabinet members, the Health Ministry announced that Israel registered over 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday. Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan also tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to Israeli media.