Israel's Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday the temporary removal of the obligation to wear face masks in public as a heavy heat wave is hitting the country.
Israel has been suffering from the unusual heat wave since May 16, which is expected to continue until Friday. Temperatures reached more than 40 degrees Celsius in many areas of the country.
Accordingly, Israel's new Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced to temporarily halt the mask wear-ing requirement in public places and schools except in cases of gatherings.
So far, a fine of 200 new shekels (about 57 U.S. dollars) has been imposed for not wearing a mask in public in Israel.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus patients in Israel has reached 16,650, with seven new cases registered since Monday evening, the ministry said.
The number of victims rose from 276 to 277, while the number of patients in serious condition dropped from 52 to 51, out of 157 patients currently hospitalized.
The number of recoveries increased to 13,299, with 46 new recoveries, while the number of active
cases decreased to 3,074.