Israel’s coronavirus cabinet has voted to reopen small businesses starting Sunday that do not require interaction with the public, kindergartens, take-out food and beaches.
During Thursday’s meeting, which lasted nearly five hours, ministers also approved weddings with up to 10 people in a confined space and up to 20 participants in an open space.
The decision rejected by Home Secretary and Shas leader Aryeh Deri. He backed a proposal to increase attendance at wedding events, which are taking place illegally in the Haredi community even during lockdown.
“It is not possible to approve weddings for 20 people,” said Deri at the meeting. “The number must be increased. It is impossible to tolerate a wedding of 20 people. These are things the public cannot tolerate. You force people to break the law. ”
The ban for the public to go more than a kilometer from home was also lifted.
Cities and communities classified as “red”, indicating a high coronavirus infection rate, will remain closed until the infection rate in those areas is reduced.
Chef Haim Cohen, head of the Association of Restaurants, praised the decision to allow takeout from the restaurant. “The permit to sell take-out food in restaurants is a modification of the Israeli government’s earlier and erroneous decision not to allow it,” he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised his decision to impose a month-long nationwide lockdown in response to rising coronavirus infections, calling it a success from which European countries want to learn.
Speaking with ministers at the start of a cabinet meeting on the coronavirus to discuss an exit strategy from the shutdown, Netanyahu warned that a third lockdown was possible if Israel did not lift restrictions in a measured and gradual manner.
Some ministers expressed concern that Netanyahu planned to further expand the lockdown and not lift the restrictions that would allow young children back to kindergartens and schools, as well as the reopening of some small businesses that do not publicly interact with entail, slow down.
While day-to-day cases have declined, coronavirus Tsar Ronni Gamzu said on Thursday that while he was optimistic, Israel must see a steady reduction in both new cases and the level of contamination over a period of a week before the restrictions can be lifted.
“We seem to be achieving our goals and can start lifting some restrictions next week,” he told Army Radio.