The Israeli Health Ministry released its COVID-19 lockdown exit strategy late Saturday night, detailing a gradual lifting of the measures limiting economic and public activity over four months.

According to Channel 12 News, if morbidity data supports rolling back the lockdown, the plan will be set in motion on Oct. 18, with target dates for the various stages of easing the restrictions.

The Health Ministry said that exiting the lockdown at this time could be considered as recent days have seen a steady drop in both the morbidity rate and the number of daily cases. According to the report, before the first stage of the plan can be implemented, the number of daily cases must drop to 2,000. This will allow opening preschools as well as businesses that do not receive customers.

At this point, the restriction on traveling more than 1,000 yards from one’s home will be lifted, as will restrictions placed on protests and family gatherings. Restaurants will be able to offer takeaway, as opposed to delivery only, and Ben-Gurion International Airport will resume full operations.

Once the number of daily cases drops to 1,000, the ministry will instate the second stage, currently slated for Nov. 1, which will see the first-to-fourth grade students resume classes. Synagogue services will reopen and elective medical procedures will resume.

The third stage of the plan, slated for mid-November—assuming the daily number of cases drops to 500—will see retailers with in-store customers open, as well as gyms and shopping malls.

Once the daily case tally drops to 250, which the ministry said could happen by late November, restaurants and cafes will be able to resume operations in full, as will various leisure venues.

The Health Ministry has set no specific targets to mark the fifth stage of the exit plan, saying only that it is likely to take place in late mid-December. The fifth stage includes allowing pools, hotels and guest houses to reopen.

The sixth stage, slated for late December, will see museums and entertainment venues open and allow the resumption of group sports.

Next, in what the ministry believes will be early January 2021, the education system will resume full operations, and in the final and eighth stage, in late January, audiences will be allowed at sporting events, clubs and bars.

Channel 12 News reported that Education Minister Yoav Gallant has stated that he plans to fight to reopen schools as soon as possible, arguing that it has been proven that the student body has little to no effect on overall morbidity.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.