Israel Eases Nationwide Lockdown Rules
Under the new rules that came into effect starting from 7:00 am — midnight Eastern Time — Israelis are no longer expected to stay within the one kilometer radius from their homes.
Takeaway service is now once again allowed at restaurants; open-air cultural sites, such as nature reserves, are set to reopen; and certain non-essential businesses — those operating on a one-on-one basis and those not providing public service — can go back into operation.
The restrictions were initially set to be eased last week, but the decision was postponed by the government after spats between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.
Further decisions are expected on the reopening of the education system, and Ben Gurion International airport is set to remain shuttered until at least late February.
The easing comes as Israel’s pandemic figures remain relatively high, despite a slow decrease in the percentage of tests returning positive.
On Saturday, the ratio stood at 7.8%, with the Jewish state adding 6,271 new infections.