IDF, Health Min. launch pilot to exempt some units from wearing masks

The pilot will begin Monday and will last for three months.

A lone soldier walks past the Western Wall amid the coronavirus pandemic. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A lone soldier walks past the Western Wall amid the coronavirus pandemic.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Certain IDF units will be exempted from wearing coronavirus masks while training in open areas, the IDF and the Health Ministry announced Sunday.
The pilot will begin Monday and will last three months, during which certain units, including combat units and units currently in training, will be exempted from wearing protective masks.
The pilot will only include units where at least 90% of the participating soldiers have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine and that at least a week has passed since their second inoculation, or soldiers who have recovered from the virus.  
The statement stressed that all training and activity within confined spaces will still take place with masks and while maintaining social distancing.
The pilot will only last if the IDF continues to closely follow and document the morbidity rates within the participating units. In that regard, the IDF will be required to report morbidity rates once a week to the Health Ministry, except during a serious outbreak when it will be required to report immediately.
The Health Ministry noted that the public is still required to wear masks until further notice.