Cabinet Greenlights Next Phase of Reopening

People walking on Jaffa Street in downtown Yerushalayim, Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s reopening will continue as planned, as ministers voted on Monday night to approve the next phase of the country’s exit from weeks of shutdown due to the covid epidemic.

As of a week from now (the exact date was not published yet), students in grades 7-10 will be allowed to return to school in low-infection areas, restaurants and cafes can operate under Health Ministry guidelines, and limitations on gatherings will be eased, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

People who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus will be allowed to dine inside cafes and restaurants, while those not immunized must sit outdoors. Hotels and event venues will be opened strictly to those immunized or recovered, the PMO said, adding that the general limit on gatherings will be expanded to 20 indoors and 50 outdoors.

There was, as usual, some opposition from within the Health Ministry to the reopening, in light of a moderate rise in infections. But it was the opinion of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and coronavirus commissioner Nahman Ash that the risk was acceptable, according to Channel 13, and their view prevailed.

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