Joy was mixed with caution as the country’s shopping malls and outdoor markets reopened on Thursday after weeks of closure due to the coronavirus.
Markets in Yerushalayim, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheva were operating again, under Health Ministry regulations setting, among other things, maximum numbers of customers at any one time, use of masks and gloves, putting out hand sanitizer and keeping the mandatory 6-feet distance.
Signs must be displayed notifying the public of occupancy limits, one person for every 20 square yards. No eating will be allowed on the premises.
Yerushalayim Mayor Moshe Lion, who had fought for Mahane Yehuda’s reopening as early as possible, was on hand Thursday morning to join in a toast and advise shoppers:
“Keep to the guidelines in order to ensure that we can continue working in the market and that the shop owners will be able to sell and make their living,” Lion said.
Pini Tzidkiyahu, who runs a fruit store in the market, told Army Radio: “We will protect the public’s health. The fruit is only in boxes, everyone is wearing gloves and everyone who needs a mask gets one.”
Tel Aviv’s Carmel and Hatikva Markets were open. The city announced it with a list of precautions. “The entrances to the markets have been fenced off, stickers have been placed on the floor in order to insure social distancing, flyers have been distributed with instructions to merchants, and posters with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines were hung around the markets.”
The municipality also trumpeted the aid it’s been giving to the hard-hit businesses, besides tax exemptions and various other financial easements, which include:
Hatikva and Carmel Market Deliveries, offering service throughout the city, and Jaffa at Home–a list of flea markets and businesses located on the Jerusalem Boulevard, which carry out deliveries, was published on the municipality’s website.
The Dizengoff Center mall in Tel Aviv was set to cap shoppers at 3,500 and set up 60 hand sanitizer stands, according to Ynet.
Gyms and fitness studios were also given the go-ahead to reopen, with a limit of one person per 10 square yards and other strictures.