• Thu. Oct 5th, 2023

Israel Eases Lockdown Restrictions

Feb 7, 2021

After almost forty days of restrictions, on Sunday, the State of Israel, gradually began to come out of its 3rd countrywide lockdown. 

At 7 am in the morning, the first restriction that was abolished was the 1,000-m one. National parks, nature reserves, and outdoor archaeological sites opened up their gates. In addition, stores and restaurants put out signs letting people know that they were open for takeaway. 

One-on-one services were allowed to resume operating. In addition, employees working corporate jobs that do not directly come in contact with the public were given permission to work from their offices. Bed and breakfasts will also now be welcoming nuclear families on their premises. 

However, the children in the country were sitting at home on Sunday morning. The government is set to convene at 5 pm on Sunday to discuss the next step that the country needs to take for schools. A debate is expected to occur between the various representatives of different Ministries. 

The Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus made a late-night agreement and voted that schools in the country will not be allowed to open before coming Tuesday. Top ministers also met to try and decide which recommendations they will be bringing for the entire cabinet on Sunday, when this discussion is rehashed. 

As per an agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, Israel Katz, the Finance Minister, and Yoav Gallant, the Education Minister, the recommendation they will give will be to allow children to go to school in green and yellow zones. The students permitted to resume physical studies will be preschoolers and kindergarteners, along with those in first till fourth grades, and 11th and 12th graders. 

Moreover, these students will be learning according to the curriculum outline that was designed before the country went on a lockdown. They will also wear masks and be placed in larger capsules. 

On the other hand, the recommendations made for red and orange areas is quite different. Students belonging to the same groups will be allowed to return to school, however, in half capsules and smaller groups. Thus, they will be required to learn in-person only on alternative days. In addition, they will be taught in the open air.

As of now, the majority of the students in the State of Israel that is 60%, are residing in orange and red zones. 

On Saturday night, Edelstein gave an interview saying that the relevant government officials are looking to reopen schools but, with a minimum risk of increasing the rate of infection in the country. 

Late on Saturday, it was reported that the number of new cases in the country fell for the very first time in weeks. This decline was a substantial one. By 8 pm, around 6,200 people had been diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours. This came out to be 7.8% of the total number of tests. But, by Sunday morning, the numbers were less promising. On Saturday, only nearly 2600 people tested positive for the virus, which was 9.4% of all those screened. 

The number of critical patients in the country is still high and the death toll stands at 5,074. 

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