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Israel drops indoor mask rule as daily COVID-19 cases hover around zero

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Israel told its citizens they could stop wearing masks indoors on Tuesday, ending one of its last main restrictions as new COVID-19 infections continued to wane even as vaccinations tapered off after a record rollout.

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Children headed to school and adults to work without masks for the first time in more than a year. Israelis have not had to wear masks outdoors since April.

About 55 per cent of Israel’s 9.3 million population are fully vaccinated — a turnout largely unchanged by this month’s expansion of eligibility to include 12- to 15-year-olds.

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Israel has this month logged either zero or one daily COVID-19 deaths, Health Ministry data show. New infections have been in a steady but gentle decline after a steep drop-off in February and March.

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The ministry said masks would still be required of unvaccinated patients or staff in medical facilities, of people en route to quarantine and of passengers on commercial flights.

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