Cabinet to Decide on Fine-Tuning of Lockdown Lift

YERUSHALAYIM -
Police set up temporary roadblocks at the Ein Hemed junction, outside of Yerushalayim on Wednesday. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The lifting of the lockdown next week, if it comes, will be carefully phased.

School reopenings will likely be limited to low-infection areas, as recommended by the Health Ministry.

That would excluded most big cities, including Yerushalayim,, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netanya, Rishon LeTzion, Petach Tikva, Beer Sheva, Beit Shemesh, Holon and Hadera, currently designated as “orange” or “red” high-infection zones.

However, Haifa, Herzliya, Raanana and numerous Arab towns and cities whose numbers have improved would be eligible to reopen.

Another complication: a panel of experts has advised the government that only vaccinated teachers should be allowed to teach in person post-lockdown, according to media reports.

This would further hamper the reopenings, as just 53 percent of teachers have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 27% both doses.

The experts further recommend opening kindergarten to second grade in low-infection areas, as well as resuming classes for 11th and 12th graders — but only if the teenage students are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet session scheduled for Wednesday to decide on the continuation of the lockdown was postponed twice: from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again until later in the evening.