Knesset passes ‘COVID law,’ ending state of emergency in place for most of pandemic

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(Worthy News) – The Knesset on Tuesday passed the so-called “coronavirus law,” bringing an end to the state of emergency that has been in place for most of the pandemic and requiring greater legislative supervision over COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government.

The new law will go into effect on February 1 and last until the end of 2022. If the cabinet wants to impose coronavirus-related restrictions during that period, it will have to classify the circumstance as one of two options: a state of emergency or a less severe, “special health situation.” The government will be allowed to impose restrictions in either case, but more serious rules will only be allowed in a state of emergency. The Knesset will ultimately have to sign off on decisions made in either designation.

The coronavirus law passed by the previous government in July 2020 did not require such differentiation and was criticized for giving the cabinet too much leeway to institute sweeping lockdowns and restrictions that limited freedom of movement. Some of that criticism was voiced again on Tuesday, with opposition lawmakers arguing that the coalition had passed legislation all too similar to the law its members vehemently opposed less than two years ago when the roles in the Knesset were switched. [ Source: Times of Israel (Read More…) ]

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