Education Ministry Proposes Alternate Days in Cities Worst-Hit by COVID

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel schools coronavirus
A kindergarten in Kfar Yona, ready for reopening, with sanitizer on the table. (Chen Leopold/Flash90, File)

Israeli students are set to return to studies on Tuesday, but not necessarily to school.

Ministers will reportedly convene Sunday night to approve a Health Ministry proposal to partially reopen the nation’s school system on Tuesday, allowing kindergartens to open and studies to fully commence for some grades in cities that have lower infection rates.

The ministry proposal would allow kindergartens and grades 1-4 and 11-12 to reopen only in green and yellow cities according to the traffic light system, which grades municipalities based on infection rates.

However, for cities deemed orange and red, studies will only be allowed to take place in the open, with classes split into two groups attending on alternate days, the reports said.

Kindergartens were expected to be allowed to open but it was unclear what the format would be.

Speaking Motzoei Shabbos, Heath Minister Yuli Edelstein said the ministry was “looking for a solution for the red and orange cities.”

The proposal was brought up at a Motzoei Shabbos meeting where ministers extended the closure of the education system by 48 hours despite the easing of the nationwide lockdown Sunday morning.

Coronavirus commissioner Nachman Ash said Sunday morning that the outline “allows students to return while placing appropriate limits on cities with high morbidity and more risk.”

“We are on the way out but the road is long, we have to be careful,” he told Kan News.

A military task force on Sunday morning warned of a possible sharp increase in infections due to an easing of the lockdown combined with a rise in cases caused by the more contagious U.K. strain of the coronavirus.

“In the coming weeks, a sharp increase in morbidity is expected due to the removal of restrictions and the spread of the British strain,” Ash said.