Israel unveils 4-month rollback plan for lockdown

The four-month plan would start on Oct. 18 and take place in stages.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Health Ministry unveiled its exit strategy on Saturday night for a lockdown that began September 18 and was later tightened. It calls for its gradual lifting over four months.

The plan’s implementation, which is to start on October 18, depends on certain numbers being met, including that of daily cases dropping to 2,000.

So far it looks good as Monday’s reported numbers were 1,609 daily cases. The rate of those testing positive has also dropped markedly from a high of 15%-16% at the start of the month to Monday’s 7.7%.

In the first phase, Israelis will be allowed to venture beyond the current one kilometer limit of their home. Preschools and beaches will reopen. Workplaces which don’t interact directly with the public will reopen. Ben Gurion Airport will begin operating to a certain degree.

The last stage won’t be until late January. That will see the return of sporting events, clubs and bars.

The plan has already been met with criticism and it’s not clear if the citizenry will have the patience for such a long rollout. Ynet reports that businessowners, parents and officials have already expressed their dismay at the plan.

Heads of Israeli business associations warned that the businesses they represent, from restaurants to hotels to gyms wouldn’t be able to financially survive such an extended period.

Hundreds of small businessowners opened in protest of the lockdown on Sunday, Israel Hayom reports. Thousands plan to open next Sunday when the first stage of the opening is set to take place regardless of whether the government gives the green light or not.

Signaling a loss of confidence in the authorities among the general public, a poll by Hebrew University researchers showed a sharp drop in the public’s support of the police from the first to the second wave of the pandemic.