Last night, the coronavirus cabinet approved the extension of lockdown regulations in Israel until midnight on Sunday. A further discussion will be held tomorrow (Thursday) on the possibility of allowing small businesses that are not exposed to the public to open, and on the reopening of kindergartens and allowing takeaway meals from restaurants.
The restrictions on demonstrations will not be extended, and in fact they expired at midnight last night. The guidelines for aviation were extended until tomorrow night.
People will now be allowed to leave home to attend the wedding of a close relative, and training will be allowed for professional sportspeople.
In last night's session, Minister of Finance Israel Katz spoke against continuation of the lockdown in its current format, which limits the opening of businesses. "I propose that we should decide on Thursday on allowing businesses that do not receive the public to open. We can reach a partial lockdown," Katz said.
A statement from the Prime Minister's Bureau said that it was difficult to reach such a decision at present "since the infection rate is still high and it is still not possible to assess the effect of events during the Jewish holiday period."
According to the Prime Minister's Bureau, coronavirus project coordinator Ronni Gamzu expressed grave concern at the fact that despite the lockdown 3,000 people were being tested for coronavirus daily.
At the cabinet session, Gamzu listed the cities in which the rate of infection was highest, accounting for more than 40% of all cases: Modi'in Ilit, Bnei Brak, Rechasim, Jerusalem, Beitar Ilit, Elad, Bet Shemesh, Kiryat Malachi, Ofakim, Ramle, Netivot, Or Yehudah, and Ashdod.
Haim Bibas, head of The Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, who is now an observer in the coronavirus cabinet, responded by saying that the "red" cities should remain under lockdown, while the rest of the country should be released from it.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 14, 2020
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