After a long month of confinement, de-escalation begins in Israel

After a long month of confinement, de-escalation begins in Israel

Duration: 01:12

Jerusalem, Oct 18 (EFE / EPA) .- (Image: Abir Sultan) Today, after a long month of confinement, Israel begins a slow de-escalation. In addition to the prohibition of traveling more than one kilometer from the home being rendered ineffective, nurseries and shops that do not receive the public may reopen their doors. As of today, Israelis will also be able to go back to the beach, national parks and nature reserves, and it will no longer be forbidden to visit family or friends at home. However, the maximum limit of ten people in meetings in closed spaces and twenty in open areas still applies. At the Wailing Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem and the most sacred place of prayer for Judaism, those who live less than a kilometer can go to pray, although in groups of at most twenty people. Restaurants will still not be able to serve the public, but at least they will be able to bring food home, since until now they could only serve take-out products on site. On the other hand, the so-called “red zones”, with a high rate of cases and which are mostly cities or neighborhoods with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, will remain confined, although, after an extensive debate, the reopening of their nurseries was authorized. This brings the number of children who returned to school today to almost one million. According to local media, however, many ultra-Orthodox schools, including several in these “red zones”, also received students older than six years today, in violation of government restrictions and with the endorsement of some of their main rabbis, including the influential Chaim Kanievsky. Today’s lifting of restrictions represents the first in a series of measures that are expected to ease confinement slowly and progressively over the next few months. The following stages, which would begin next month and depending on the number of infections, would include the return to class of children between six and ten years old and the reopening of synagogues. Later, the gyms will return to work and both the shopping centers and the markets and a large part of the shops will be able to reopen. This plan, and the emphasis on its gradual and phased nature, is at odds with the rapid reopening of the first lockdown, in April, which experts say was one of the main triggers for the strong second wave that hit Israel in recent months and forced to apply a new total closure. “If we follow the instructions, I am sure this will work, but if we notice that it is not working, that we are going backwards, then we will have no choice but to tighten the restrictions again,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last night about the start of de-escalation. After a strong rebound in infections and deaths in September and the first days of October, the figures have improved notably in the last two weeks. A positive ratio of 15% at the end of the month passes


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