Economy Ministry Publishes Details of Economic Activity

A stock ticker at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last month. (Flash90)

The Economy Ministry on Motzoei Shabbos released its proposed schedule for the revival of the Israeli economy from the throes of the coronavirus crisis. According to the schedule, the first move towards getting Israelis back to work will begin next Sunday, with economic activity gradually increasing until all services and activities come back online in the summer.

Currently, the economy is operating at 15% of its capacity, with basically only essential workers at their jobs – not including workers who are telecommuting. Between April 19th an May 3rd, that figure is set to be raised to 30%. Social distancing provisions will remain in place, with workers in offices expected to maintain two meters of space between each other and wearing masks.

Shopping centers with 15 or fewer stores will be allowed to reopen as well, and special education students will go back to class. Towards the end of that period, nurseries and kindergartens will reopen as well.

Between May 3 and 17, many more Israelis will go back to work, with offices allowed to have 85% of employees in the office. Open-air shopping centers will be reopened, children in grades one through three will go back to class on a limited basis, with children attending classes on alternate days. If all goes well, students of all grades will gradually return to class, with the school year extended through the end of July.

The Ministry said that the plan had been approved by the Bank of Israel and the National Economic Council. The changes will only be made if the infection rate for coronavirus victims continues to fall, and on the approval of the Prime Minister.

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