Israel to Start Reopening Schools

April 27, 2020
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – APRIL 19: Israelis protest at a rally in Rabin Square on April 19, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thousands of Israelis gather at an Anti-Corruption rally under coronavirus restrictions, decrying proposed unity government talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Schools will start reopening in Israel on May 3 after being shut down since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jerusalem Post reported kindergarten and first through third grade will be allowed to have in-person classes every Sunday through Thursday, although there cannot be more than 15 people in a class. Recess will be held at differing times throughout the day to avoid large groups.

Those in fourth grade through 12th grade will continue to have school online.

Education Minister Rafi Peretz said in a statement, “The fact that ministers and all professional bodies approve [our plan] speaks for itself. We must be careful to ensure that educational institutions open carefully in order to avoid an outbreak.”

Additionally, non-essential businesses, with the exception of malls and open-air markets, reopened on April 26. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on April 27 that open-air markets will start reopening after Yom Haatzmut ends on April 29. Some hotels and guest houses also will reopen on May 3, although dining rooms and pool areas in hotels will remain closed.

The measure stating that Israelis can’t go any farther than 500 meters outside their homes if they are exercising will be lifted at the end of Yom Haatzmut.

As of this writing, there are 15,466 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Israel and 202 deaths from the virus. One of the recent deaths was Sheba Medical Center nurse Suzy Levi, 65, on April 26. Her family said in a statement that Levi “stubbornly continued to work even though she should have retired, and that characterizes her endless giving and caring until her last day.”

According to the Health Ministry, there were only 23 new cases on April 27, marking “a significant downward trend in the spread of the outbreak in Israel,” the Times of Israel reported.

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