Israel starts gradual return to normal, widens reopening of economy

On Sunday, Israel began reopening parts of its economy on what it termed as the start of a return to normal following a COVID-19 vaccination drive that has reached almost 50% of its population.

While everyone could visits shops, access to leisure sites such as gyms, and theatres were restricted only to those who had taken the vaccine or those who had recovered from the disease and had a so-called “Green Pass” status displayed on a special Health Ministry app.

Social distancing measures continue to be in force and dancing continues to be barred at banquet halls, and synagogues, mosques or churches where worshippers are required to halve their normal numbers.

The development comes exactly a year after Israel’s first documented coronavirus case,

Sunday’s easing of COVID-19 protocols is part of the government’s plan to gradually re-open the economy next month, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is up for reelection.

Jerusalem has administered at least one dose of the Pfizer Inc vaccine to more than 45% of its 9 million population, said the Health Ministry. According to its data, the two-shot regimen has reduced COVID-19 infections by 95.8%.



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