Israel ends indoor masking, its final COVID-19 restriction, as it logs less than one virus death a day in June

Two shoppers, maskless, use a Tel Aviv mall while a worker in the background removes a sign about COVID-19 restrictions.
A worker removing a COVID-19 information notice in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Tuesday. Nir Elias
  • Israel has ended its indoor mask mandate, Reuters reported.
  • Daily deaths from COVID-19 have slowed into single figures, with some days at zero.
  • The country is beginning to return to normal after a lightning-fast vaccine rollout.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Israel ended its indoor mask mandate Tuesday as deaths from COVID-19 slowed to a trickle.

It is the last of the major restrictions imposed by the government to curb the pandemic, and it follows the decision in April to end an outdoor mask mandate that had lasted about a year.

The country has reported one or zero COVID-19 death every day in June, Reuters reported, citing Health Ministry data.

That number is down from a peak of 101 deaths in a day in January, relatively high for a nation of some 9 million people, per Johns Hopkins University’s cases tracker.

Israel is conducting a world-beating vaccine rollout, with 57% of the population fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times’ vaccinations tracker.

Israel vaccine masks
Israelis outdoors on April 18 after Israel ended its outdoor mask mandate. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, the deputy director general at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, told Insider’s Aria Bendix in early June that the country had reached herd immunity. “This is probably the end of COVID in Israel, at least in terms of the current strains that we know,” he said.

Masks will still be required in some circumstances, Reuters reported. Staff members and unvaccinated patients in medical facilities will still need them, as will commercial air passengers and those en route to quarantine.

The country has reported about 840,000 cases and 6,428 deaths from the virus in total, according to Johns Hopkins University.