Israel reopens some businesses

Israel reopens some businesses

Israel allowed some businesses to reopen on Sunday and said it was considering letting children return to school as part of trial efforts to ease coronavirus restrictions and help the country's struggling economy.

After weeks of closures, shops with street access reopened though malls and markets stayed off-limits to prevent large gatherings. Restaurants were allowed to offer take-away food, in addition to delivery services already operating, Reuters reported.

Israel, which has a population of about 9 million, has had 15,443 coronavirus cases and 201 deaths. With about 100 COVID-19 sufferers on ventilators and 2,000 more hospital beds on standby, officials see an opportunity to review pandemic policy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin discussions on Monday about the gradual reopening of schools, a statement from his office said.

The Education Ministry has proposed that if the school year resumes it should run into the summer holiday to make up for lost time.

Officials described the easing of restrictions as reversible, should new contagions follow. In a sign of a shift away from nationwide restrictions, Israel imposed lockdowns on Sunday in parts of two towns with local virus outbreaks.

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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