COVID-19 isolation and compulsory masks should be canceled - Ichilov CEO

Isolation is still compulsory for people who test positive for COVID-19, and masks have to be worn in medical and welfare institutions.

People walk on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem last week, some wearing masks, others not. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
People walk on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem last week, some wearing masks, others not.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The time has come to cancel compulsory isolation for people who have COVID-19, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) CEO Prof. Ronni Gamzu said on Tuesday.

"The risk is low, and it will help more people get tested without having to worry," Ichilov quoted the former Health Ministry director and Israel's first COVID-19 tzar as saying, on its official Twitter page.

"At the same time, we need to reconsider the mask and their enforcement in places that they are still required," 

"It's time to cancel compulsory isolation for COVID-19 patients."

Professor Ronni Gamzu

 A man wearing a face-mask walks past The National Covid Memorial Wall, on national day of reflection to mark the two year anniversary of the UK going into national lockdown, in London (credit: REUTERS/PETER CZIBORRA) A man wearing a face-mask walks past The National Covid Memorial Wall, on national day of reflection to mark the two year anniversary of the UK going into national lockdown, in London (credit: REUTERS/PETER CZIBORRA)

Who needs to isolate for COVID-19?

As of May, the Health Ministry's instructions in regards to isolation are that only those people who test positive for COVID-19 need to isolate as well as people who are instructed to do so by the Health Ministry in special cases.

COVID-19 patients can come out of isolation if they test negative for the virus on the fourth and fifth days of their isolation. If one of the tests is positive, they are instructed to remain in isolation until the end of the seventh day if there have been no symptoms for 48 hours.

Where are masks compulsory?

The current instructions for masks is that they are compulsory in medical, health and welfare institutions. Anywhere else, the Health Ministry recommends people wear masks, but it is still optional.

As well as a mask, visitors to geriatric hospitals, welfare dormitories, protected housing, places that house people with disabilities, mental health hostels, nursing care homes and rehab centers need to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

PCR testing for people entering the country

Until Wednesday, PCR testing upon entry to Israel was not compulsory. The instruction was that anyone who feels unwell within 10 days of arrival had to take a test.

Beginning Wednesday, passengers entering Israel can take a PCR test if they want, and stations will be made available in the airport after baggage claim.