Israel lifts public masks mandate

Jerusalem, April 18

Israel has lifted a public mask mandate and fully reopened its education system in the latest easing of Covid restrictions following its mass vaccination drive. All primary and secondary school grades returned to classrooms on Sunday and health officials ended a year-long requirement to wear a mask in public spaces.

Masks are still required indoors and in large gatherings. Israel has speedily inoculated a majority of its population against Covid in a world-leading vaccination campaign.

In Britain, the Opposition Labour Party has joined calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel his Indian visit to India, starting next Sunday, amid growing concerns of a new variant of Covid detected in the country. Public Health England (PHE) has said that 77 cases of the so-called “double mutant” Indian variant have been detected in the UK since last month and that it has now been classed as a Variant Under Investigation (VUI). — Agencies

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