COVID-19 cabinet approves malls outline - Green Pass to apply in most places

The outline for malls and other shopping complexes, devised by the National Security Council and the Health Ministry, was presented at the last cabinet meeting. 

Shoppers wear face masks and walk around a fashion shopping center in Ashdod, as restrictions over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ease around Israel, May 5, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Shoppers wear face masks and walk around a fashion shopping center in Ashdod, as restrictions over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ease around Israel, May 5, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Entrance into any store larger than 100 square meters will now require a Green Pass, the coronavirus cabinet approved Friday shortly before Shabbat via a telephone vote.

The rule will also apply to employees of these stores.

The outline for malls and other shopping complexes was devised by the National Security Council and the Health Ministry and presented at the last cabinet meeting. 

The plan calls for malls to operate according to a strict Purple Ribbon outline, which means that occupancy can be one person for every 15 square meters in the larger shopping center. Stores that sell essential items, such as pharmacies and grocery stores, will adhere to this outline and no Green Pass will be required.

However, Green Passes will need to be presented to enter food courts and restaurants. At food courts, only takeaway will be permitted.

  Israel's Green Pass validity was extended until Thursday on Sunday after the Health Ministry 'traffic light' website crashed, October 3, 2021.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Israel's Green Pass validity was extended until Thursday on Sunday after the Health Ministry 'traffic light' website crashed, October 3, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The regulations go into effect at midnight between Sunday and Monday, pending approval by the Knesset.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had wanted to require a Green Pass for entry into the mall itself, but fierce opposition by retailers and some ministers led to this latest plan instead.

The outline comes as cases have started to surge in Israel, reaching more than 1,400 new cases on Friday. In addition, the number of people infected with Omicron has gone up to more than 500 with over 1,000 people who are highly suspected of carrying the variant.