Malls reopen as new daily virus cases climb above 1,000

Seven Stars Mall Herzliya / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes

Black Friday spending in Israel was down 10% on last year, according to credit card data.

1,072 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Israel yesterday after 1,071 people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reports. There were 53,667 tests carried out yesterday, of which 2% proved positive. There are currently 275 people hospitalized in serious condition with Covid-19, of whom 117 are on ventilators. There have been 333,443 cases of Covid-19 in Israel since the pandemic began including 2,834 fatalities.

Despite the number of new cases rising above 1,000 for the first time since October, the government is moving ahead with its latest relaxations. 15 shopping malls reopened this morning for Black Friday, with the situation due to be re-assessed on December 6, when it will be decided whether to allow other malls to reopen.

Azrieli Group Ltd. (TASE: AZRG) and Melisron Ltd. (TASE: MLSR) were allowed to reopen three malls each. Azrieli opened the Malka mall in Jerusalem, the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan and the Azrieli Haifa mall. Melisron reopened malls in the Krayot, Petah Tikva and Beersheva.

The other nine malls were chosen in a lottery by the Ministry of Economy according to region: Center One in Jerusalem, Big Fashion Mall Beit Shemesh, Arad Mall, Em Haderech in Beit Herut, Seven Stars in Herzilya, Sharonim in Hod Hasharon, CineMall in Haifa, Arena Mall in Nahariya and Mall One in Nof Hagalil.

All the malls were very busy today - Black Friday - and critics of the plan to open only 15 malls argued that there would have been less crowding had all the country's malls opened today. Overall, including street stores and online shopping, Israelis spent NIS 400 million this morning using credit cards, only 10% down on the NIS 440 million spent on Black Friday last year but above the NIS 380 million spent in 2018.

In another relaxation of the lockdown, grades 10-12 will return to Israel's high schools on Sunday.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 27, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Seven Stars Mall Herzliya / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes
Seven Stars Mall Herzliya / Photo: Cadya Levy, Globes
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