Education Ministry Announces a Color-Coded Purim

YERUSHALAYIM -
Kids from Satmar Yona Yerushalayim seen in their Talmud Torah in Meah Shearim, ahead of Purim last year. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Amid data showing an increase in COVID cases among children, the Education Ministry said on Thursday that Purim activities in schools will be strictly limited.

The Ministry said that events will be permitted only in schools and kindergartens that are permitted to be open in accordance with its guidelines. As of now, kindergartens and grades 1-4 and 11-12 have opened in cities designated as “green” and “yellow” in the government’s color-coding system for morbidity rates.

In cities with higher infection rates, designated as “orange” and “red,” Purim events will be allowed only outdoors, with a maximum of 20 participants.

Students will be allowed to deliver mishloah manos, but only at the end of the school day, and in sealed packages.

Parades, parties and fairs usually held on the festival will not be permitted.

Purim is a major school festivity every year, with parents accompanying their costumed children, but this year the Education Ministry said parents will not be allowed at any events, even those held outside. Only permanent staff will be allowed to enter educational institutions.

The requirement to wear face masks will not be fulfilled by a costume mask, the Education Ministry clarified, adding that individuals should exercise caution when putting a face mask underneath a costume mask, due to the potential danger of suffocation.