As the coronavirus crisis in Israel eases, life is beginning to get back on track, with a few additions in the form of facemasks, hand sanitizers and keeping well apart.
Kids are now back in school, adults are gradually making their way back to the office and businesses are operating under corona guidelines that include taking workers’ and customers’ temperatures, keeping everyone two meters apart and not overcrowding stores.
Last Wednesday, authorities opened the country’s beaches under new regulations: changing rooms remain closed, and beachgoers are required to wear facemasks and keep their distance from one another. This easing of restrictions came after many people already took to the sea earlier on, especially during the substantial heatwave that Israel experienced last week.
Wednesday also saw synagogues reopening after a prolonged shutdown. Restrictions now include limiting the number of worshippers to 50 regulars at a time who will be required to remain in set seats 2 meters apart from one another, and conducting open-air minyans, or services, in synagogues that host multiple services each day. Mosques, meanwhile, are set to reopen on May 27, after the end of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
The beaches and houses of worship follow on the footsteps of places of sports and recreation that have already opened, such as shopping malls, gyms and open-air markets, which are also required to adhere to the new regulations, notably those meant to prevent overcrowding.
On Wednesday (May 27), restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels are to reopen. Places that can hold up to 100 people will be able to operate at full capacity, providing that tables are kept 1.5 meters apart and that guests’ temperatures are taken upon arrival. Larger places will be allowed to operate at 85 percent capacity. Swimming pools are also scheduled to open Wednesday, as long as at least 6 square meters are allocated per swimmer.
Cinemas, finally, are set to gradually open on June 14. Movie-goers will be required to sit two seats apart, and the number of people in each screening will be determined by the movie hall’s size. No updates have been given reading the reopening of theaters. Event halls, too, are set to open on June 14. Guests will be required to wear facemasks except when they are eating or drinking, and their temperature will be taken upon arrival.