CORONAVIRUS Israel will launch the first phase of phasing out restrictions on Sunday

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This was announced on Saturday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also added that “this time (to release the measures) we will proceed cautiously, in accordance with the plan set by experts at the Ministry of Health”. Relaxation of some restrictions that have been in force in Israel since September 18 as the second so-called lockdown over a six-month period, the government approved on Thursday. The condition for release is that there are no more than 2000 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection per day.

According to official data, 1,695 new cases of the disease were recorded in Israel on Friday, which is a significant decrease compared to the end of September, as the daily increments were around 8000-9000 cases at that time. In his statement on Saturday, Netanyahu expressed his conviction that “if everyone follows the rules, it will work.” The Israeli government faced severe criticism as infections rose sharply in late summer. According to many experts, this increase was due to the too rapid easing of restrictions approved by the government in the spring of this year, when the whole world experienced a first wave of pandemics caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

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One of the key measures to be lifted in Israel on Sunday is a ban on moving more than a kilometer from the house. The rule angered some Israelis, who said it was intended to stop protests against Netanyahu. Kindergartens, beaches and national parks are to be reopened from Sunday. The Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem – the holiest site for Jews – will once again be open to the public. People will also be able to visit their friends or relatives if a maximum of 10 people gather inside. Meetings of up to 20 people are allowed outdoors.

In some areas of Israel, however, the lockdown will apply at least until next Wednesday – regions that are referred to as “reds” by hygienists for high numbers of infections. These are mainly areas where the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community lives.

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