Coronavirus Cabinet to Deliberate Reopening of Elementary Schools

Police guard at a temporary checkpoint at the entrance of Elad, which was a “restricted zone” on Tuesday. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Coronavirus Cabinet is set to convene on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of opening up elementary schools ahead of schedule.

Under the lockdown exit strategy drawn up by the Health Ministry, studies for grades 1-4 are only set to resume at the beginning of November, with grades 5-12 reopening only on January 10, 2021. Students under the age of six returned to school on Sunday.

But the Education Ministry, under the leadership of Minister Yoav Galant (Likud), is pushing to reopen schools earlier than planned – despite opposition from the Health Ministry.

Galant and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) are working to reach a compromise prior to the meeting.

On Tuesday, the ministerial committee on restricted areas approved lifting the closures on nearly all red cities and neighborhoods. A joint message by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry said that the lockdowns were lifted from the cities of Bnei Brak, Elad, Beitar Illit and Modi’in Illit, along with several neighborhoods in Yerushalayim.

The only area in Israel that remains a red zone is the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in Yerushalayim.

Coronavirus commissioner Prof. Ronni Gamzu said that the decision was based on data and that the country has been witnessing a sharp decline in morbidity across all sectors in recent days.

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