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February 8, 2021 11:51 am

Israel Eases Nationwide Lockdown Rules

avatar by i24 News

Israeli police stand guard at the entrance to the town of Bnei Brak, as they enforce a lockdown of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town badly affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), April 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ilan Rosenberg.

i24 News – Israel eased the rules and restrictions for its third nationwide lockdown on Sunday as pandemic figures remained relatively high.

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.

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