Israel: Green Passport cancelled in gyms due to high operation cost

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Israel’s Health Minister and Coronavirus Commissar Wednesday announced to gym owners that the Ministry will formulate a date for returning the industry to the “Purple Badge” policy, cancelling the requirement to present “Green Passport” proof of vaccination. The reason for the cancellation given was the high cost of rapid COVID-19 tests for youth and the unvaccinated. This, according to the Davar newspaper.

Current policy allows entry to the vaccinated, those who had recovered from the virus, and through rapid-testing teenagers and the unvaccinated. Instead of the Green Passport, the industry will return to the “Purple Badge” from the second lockdown, which includes wearing masks, limiting the number of people, and physical distancing, regardless of vaccination status.

The Quidel Sofia SARS antigen test insert says the test was authorized for “individuals who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider within the first five days of the onset of symptoms,” not for an asymptomatic person.

Also, an Israeli Health Ministry letter to hospital directors dated September 27, 2020, recommends the Sofia test be used “on people with symptoms only.”

During last week’s meeting between the Association of Fitness Rooms and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Coronavirus Commissar Prof. Nachman Ash, the two pledged to set a date to end the Green Passport in the industry and switch to the Purple Badge.

“The rapid tests are irrelevant to the gym industry in general,” Gyms Association Chairman Yaron Sela told Davar. “If gym membership costs 200 shekels a month, and a rapid test costs 50 shekels, a person who comes twice a week will put out NIS 400 a month on the tests, increasing his expenditure on the gym from 200 to NIS 600 – three times. Therefore, it’s completely unusable, also not by teens under the age of vaccination, for whom this rapid test is currently the only way to participate in fitness rooms.”

Netizen Rafael Zioni commented on the report: “The Ministry of Jokes continues to bomb. The Green Passport has been canceled for fitness rooms. But it’s necessary to continue to check a million other people who only want to work.”

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