Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Religious men wearing face shields study Gemara while keeping the regulated distance at a forest in Jerusalem, May 4, 2020.

The Cabinet on Monday night approved a series of additional amendments to the emergency regulations that will allow the economy to return to activity in the shadow of the coronavirus. The amendments cancel restrictions on leaving one’s home except to places and activities that are prohibited in the regulations.

Following are the main points of “Emergency Regulations (New Coronavirus – Restriction of Activity)”:

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* Starting Monday (yesterday), additional businesses and activities will be allowed to open including: Libraries, all kinds of non-medical treatment on the human body, complementary medicine, hotels and guest houses, nature reserves, heritage sites, national parks, zoos and safaris. Activity at swimming pools will be permitted for competitive athletes and therapy.

* Malls, open-air markets and gyms will be allowed to open on 7 May 2020.

Mall operators will be required to meet the rules for maintaining public health and will sign an on-line form to this effect on the Economy and Industry Ministry website; the form will be passed on to the relevant local authority. Under these rules, an employee will be appointed responsible for carrying out activity to maintain public health at the mall. The entry of people to the mall – including mall employees – will be regulated so that at no time will there be more than one person per 20 square meters in the mall. A sign will be posted regarding the number of people permitted in the mall. Strict care will be taken to maintain two meters’ distance between people in the mall including in lines. Places for those waiting in line will be delineated; signs will be posted about maintaining distance. The rules of hygiene – including disinfection of surfaces – will be strictly maintained. Accessible stands with hand disinfectant will be placed in the mall. Sitting for the purpose of eating will not be permitted in the mall.

Retail markets will be allowed to open upon receiving a permit from the local authority and pursuant to the following conditions: The local authority will regulate the entry of people to the market, including workers and business owners, so that at no time will there be more than one person in the open area per 20 square meters of space. The local authority will set and implement a mechanism to limit the number of people in the market. A sign will be posted regarding the number of people permitted in the market. The local authority will take maximum care vis-à-vis maintaining two meters’ distance between people in the market including in lines, in order to prevent crowding. Places for those waiting in line will be delineated; signs will be posted about maintaining distance. The rules of hygiene – including disinfection of surfaces – will be strictly maintained. Accessible stands with hand disinfectant will be placed in the market. The authority will not allow sitting for the purpose of eating in the market will not permit the entry of people not wearing masks to the market.

* Those operating libraries will be required to observe additional conditions including the placing of partitions at the borrowing desk to prevent the transfer of respiratory droplets and the separation of books that have been returned to the library for three days.

* Those operating stores and businesses for non-medical treatment will be allowed to bring in customers according to the ratio of one customer per 15 square meters of space open to customers, or two people per cash register, whichever is higher.

* Going to beaches is prohibited except for sport activity in the sea.

* The restriction on praying more than 500 meters from the home or workplace is cancelled; the restriction of no more than 19 people for prayers in an open space remains in force.

* Circumcisions may be held with up to 19 people (as opposed to ten) in attendance.

* In public places and at workplaces, buildings of more than five stories may have up to 50% of the maximum allowed occupancy in elevators, thus allowing more than two people in any given elevator.

* Mental health treatment is allowed without masks, provided a distance of three meters is maintained between care provider and care recipient.

* Alongside the existing restrictions on activity at mikvahs (up to three men at mikvahs for men and advance appointments at mikvahs for women), a person appointed by the operator will be responsible to see that the rules are maintained.

* Regarding restrictions in Muslim-majority communities, the emergency regulation barring stores and businesses from opening between 19:30 and 03:00 is extended until Sunday, 10 May 2020.

The foregoing amendments shall be valid until Monday, May 18, 2020.

Emergency Regulations (Restricted Zones):

The Cabinet approved extension of “Emergency Regulations (Restricted Zones)” until Tuesday, 2 June 2020. The relevant ministerial committee will be able to declare communities, or sections of communities, in which there have been coronavirus outbreaks, to be restricted zones.

Extension of the authorization of the Israel Security Agency (ISA) to assist in the national effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and the advancement of legislation:

The Cabinet decided to extend the validity of the authorization of the ISA to assist in the national effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus until Tuesday, 16 June 2020, or until completion of the legislative process and the entry into effect of the legislation. The decision will be submitted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for approval.

The Health Ministry calls on the public to continue listening to the directives on physical distancing, wearing masks and maintaining hygiene, in order to ensure public health and continue the common struggle against the spread of the coronavirus.

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