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International News Dec 31, 2021 5:48 AM EST

Legal action threatened by Israeli mall owners over potential COVID restrictions

"Bottom line, the proposed outline will keep customers away from the malls and cause fatal damage to mall owners and business owners without any benefit in terms of fighting the spread of the coronavirus and rising morbidity."

Legal action threatened by Israeli mall owners over potential COVID restrictions
Jonah Hoffman Jerusalem

New public health restrictions would require Israelis to present proof of vaccination before entering venues such as malls, movie theaters, and more.

The Azrieli Group, which operates many businesses and malls, said in a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar that the new rule is "...an unconstitutional, discriminatory, unjustified act" and is not expected to succeed in "...preventing the spread of the disease among the population or encouraging immunization."

"Bottom line, the proposed outline will keep customers away from the malls and cause fatal damage to mall owners and business owners without any benefit in terms of fighting the spread of the coronavirus and rising morbidity."

After 22 cases of Omicron were identified in Israel on Tuesday, Bennett and Horowitz announced the same day that proof of vaccination will be required to enter movie theaters, malls, and other venues. The initial plan was to use bracelets to identify the people who were vaccinated, but following backlash they went back on the plan.

Pending government approval, the new restrictions will only allow people without Green Passes to enter the venues if they are seeking something on a soon to be announced list of essential services. The Health Ministry will also be providing a temporary Green Pass, which is valid for 30 days, to people who received their 1st vaccine dose.

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