The Health Ministry on Thursday launched the long-awaited “Green Pass” certificate which will enable those vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus to take part in various activities. At the same time, the ministry warned of serious legal penalties for those who falsify the passes.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy, and other health officials presented the new certification and demonstrated the methods of issuing the QR-code-secured pass, which has been the target of skepticism following reports demonstrating how easy it is to falsify.
Cabinet ministers on Monday approved the reopening of stores, gyms, hotels, and other venues starting Sunday, in a major easing of sweeping lockdown measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Street-front shops, malls, markets, museums, and libraries will be open to all Israelis. But only those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 will be able to use gyms and pools, attend sporting and culture events, and stay at hotels.
To be allowed to open Sunday, relevant businesses must undertake to scan for the pass and only accept those carrying it.
In a further easing of restrictions, the Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday that the government will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people, and indoor gatherings of up to 10, starting Friday morning. The previous rules restricted outdoor gatherings to 10 people and indoors to five.
Those eligible will be able to get the Green Pass using three methods starting Sunday, February 21:
- Downloading the Traffic Light (Ramzor) app on Google Play or the Apple App Store, entering personal details and getting the pass on one’s phone.
- Signing up on the Health Ministry website and downloading a printable personal document.
- Calling the Health Ministry’s hotline at *5400 and having the pass sent by email or fax.
“The vaccinated and recovered will be able to enter gyms, events, hotels, and synagogues that are registered under the Green Pass certificate from Sunday,” Edelstein said. “This is how the first stage will look in the return to your almost normal lives.”
Still, he stressed the importance of continuing to wear masks — even those who’ve received both vaccine doses.
The pass has already been criticized as easy to counterfeit. A black market for fake certificates is thriving on Telegram, where more than 100,000 users have joined groups that offer the forgeries at a price, Channel 12 News reported.
In response, Edelstein stated, “Those who think this a game and print a vaccination certificate without being vaccinated will be caught and their activities may end with them in jail.”