Israel decides to partially lift month-long lockdown

Jerusalem, Oct 16 : Israel’s special cabinet for handling the COVID-19 decided to partially lift a month-long lockdown on Sunday, by easing some of the restrictions.

The first phase of the exit plan will begin on Sunday amidst declining numbers of new infections, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry said in a joint statement on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the cabinet decision, the restriction limiting residents to a 1,000-meter radius of their homes will be lifted.

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Kindergartens and businesses that do not attend clients will be reopened, but schools and other businesses would still be closed. Restaurants would be allowed to take only take-away orders.

Gatherings of more than 20 will still be prohibited and local lockdowns in “red” cities with high morbidity rates might be imposed, the government said.

“The lockdown has been a major success,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting, citing “a decline in all data”.

He said that the exit needs to be “gradual, responsible, careful and controlled” to avoid “an additional lockdown in two or three weeks”.

Israel imposed a second nationwide lockdown on September 18 to curb the rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

Netanyahu’s government has been facing growing public anger over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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