Israel eases restrictions on stores, restaurants and hair salons

The government announced new regulations to “gradually restore the Israeli economy to a careful routine in the shadow of the coronavirus.”

By Ebin Sandler, World Israel News

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that the Cabinet approved emergency regulations designed to further ease restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the PMO said the regulations were designed “to gradually restore the Israeli economy to a careful routine in the shadow of the coronavirus,” and would take effect at midnight on Saturday.

The new regulations permit restaurants to sell food by delivery and take-away, but do not authorize dining in, and allow hair salons, beauty parlors and cosmeticians to open for business, provided that none of these establishments are in enclosed malls, which remain shuttered.

Restaurants must install a “partition at the counter to prevent the transfer of droplets between sellers and customers,” with employees required to maintain social distancing (two meters) from customers, wear mask and gloves, and regularly disinfect surfaces. Entry will be limited to no more than two customers per active cash register in stores that are over 100 square meters, with signs posted announcing corona-related policies.

The regulations permit all stores in the “public sphere” to reopen, provided that owners submit to local authorities a signed declaration” enumerating the regulations’ conditions of operation. These conditions include installing employee-customer partitions, taking the temperature of entering customers and questioning customers regarding symptoms of illness, in addition to appointing a designated employee to supervise compliance with coronavirus matters.

Read  Israeli diplomat held in 'prison-like conditions' in China after catching mild case of Covid

The regulations also include detailed requirements prohibiting customers congregating outside and inside stores without adhering to social distancing guidelines

The regulations also permit “care providers” to “work with individuals, or with people living in the same household, without contact, while maintaining a distance of two meters among those being cared for, and wearing masks and using disinfectants.”

Under penalty of fine, Israelis will be required to continue wearing masks in the “public sphere,” starting from age seven, with the exception of those playing sports or individuals with a certified medical reason.

The regulations will remain in force until Sunday, 3 May 2020, with further measures to ease additional restrictions evaluated depending on whether corona infection and morbidity rates continue to decline in Israel.

According to the PMO, enforcement of the directives will be “stepped up,” with inspectors authorized to monitor compliance and enforce the regulations as part of the government’s efforts to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks in Israel.

Businesses that violate the new regulations are subject to a NIS 2,000 fine.