First and Second Grades Allowed to Resume Activities

On Thursday, the coronavirus cabinet allowed the resumption of educational activities from Sunday onwards. The first through fourth grades will combine distance learning with in-class studies. 

As per the new plan devised in the coronavirus cabinet meeting, grades one till four each will only be allowed on premises for four days a week. Capsules will be used on these days and each capsule will contain no more than 20 students. Right at the beginning of this particular meeting, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, warned that this outline was not permanent. He stated that the progress and effectiveness of this way of learning will be evaluated in the next two weeks. 

Meanwhile, in a telephone vote, the government approved an extension of the current state of emergency, which has been invoked due to the coronavirus. The extension will last for another 60 days, starting from November 5th and ending on the 3rd of January. However, the decision has not yet taken effect. It will first be approved by the Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset’s Constitution. 

The next coronavirus cabinet meeting is expected to be tense and long. Ministers will come together to make important decisions regarding the reopening of synagogues, bed and breakfasts, along with street shops. 

Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, and Israel Katz, the Finance Minister got into an argument on Wednesday. They debated over the reopening of street shops on Sunday, which is what Katz wants. Edelstein, on the other hand, insisted that the decision to reopen be tabled for now. According to the Health Minister, delaying the decision will be in the best interests of everyone involved. 

Before the meeting convened on Thursday, Katz had been constantly attacking the health establishment and criticizing it. In an internal discussion, the Finance Minister is said to have said that the people working at the Health Ministry are acting out of heartlessness. He accused the ministry of being disengaged and disconnected from the people. 

It is Katz’s belief that street shops should be reopened immediately since they are on the verge of collapsing. 

The cabinet is also scheduled to discuss the reopening of synagogues. The members are going to decide whether they should be allowed to open in the next week. The argument presented is that if the number of people inside the synagogue is limited to 10, then prayers should not be an issue. Moreover, it was added that the worshippers will adhere to proper coronavirus guidelines, wear masks at all times, and maintain social distancing if synagogues were indeed reopened. 

Izhar Shay, the Minister for Science and Technology, is in support of reopening synagogues. Reports have pointed towards a positive response from Edelstein and Netanyahu both. They too believe that synagogues, at the very least, should be opened to the public. 

The government is expected to implement a six-stage plan to go back to normalcy. The original nine-stage plan that was proposed by the Health Ministry, on the other hand, has been replaced with this one.