מחסום בדיזינגוף
Police checkpoint in Tel Aviv during coronavirus lockdown on Yom Kippur
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Police checkpoint in Tel Aviv during coronavirus lockdown on Yom Kippur

Lockdown exit plan: Low morbidity, focus on hotspots

Experts present government with six-stage scheme, according to which restrictions on the Israeli economy and society will be gradually lifted only after daily coronavirus cases drop to below 2,000

Adir Yanko |
Published: 09.29.20 , 14:40
A National Security Council advisory board on Tuesday presented the government with an exit strategy for Israel's coronavirus lockdown and a list of benchmarks the country must hit before stepping out of closure.
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  • According to the proposed outline, the government will consider lifting some of the restrictions on the Israeli economy and society only after coronavirus cases will have dropped under 2,000 a day.
    מחסום בדיזינגוףמחסום בדיזינגוף
    Police checkpoint in Tel Aviv during coronavirus lockdown on Yom Kippur
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    The lifting of restrictions will be carried out in six stages with at least two weeks between them to test their efficacy and allow decision makers to make adjustments.
    Stage 1: Focus on hotspots
    In the first step, the advisory team - headed by Weizmann Institute of Science's Prof. Eli Waksman – suggested restrictions in coronavirus hotspots will be tightened even further in order to reduce the national morbidity and restore public trust in the government.
    Stage 2: Limited school openings
    The second stage will see some restrictions on the economy lifted and the reopening of preschools and schools for first and second graders after the number of daily coronavirus infections will have dropped below 2,000 on a weekly average and the infection ratio is cut by half in two weeks.
    Stage 3: Some shops return
    The third stage will see high street shops and outdoor markets reopen after the number of daily cases drops under 1,000 and the infection rate reduces by 20% a week.
    ירושלים ירושלים
    An abandoned Jerusalem road on Yom Kippur during coronavirus lockdown
    (Photo: Gil Yochanan)
    Stage 4: Offices and more classes
    In the fourth stage, shopping centers will be allowed to reopen, businesses and offices will be able to accept customers in person, third through sixth graders will be allowed to return to school and limited social gatherings will also be allowed.
    The move will take effect after daily morbidity is under 400 cases and is contingent upon the national epidemic response apparatus proving it is able to track and break chains of infections within 48 hours from the moment a patient gets tested.
    Stage 5: Restaurants and cultural sites
    The fifth stage will see the reopening of restaurants and entertainment venues after daily cases drop under 100.
    Stage 6: Not before 2021
    The last stage is conditioned upon maintaining less than 100 infections a day on average for three weeks and will see the resumption of public and cultural events with up to 50 or 100 participants.
    Experts stressed that this phase should not be considered before 2021.
    The authors of the plan also added that the opening of the education system for the fifth grade and higher and yeshiva studies should be considered only after the holiday of Hanukkah in mid-December ,and "according to the experience the education system will acquire through the operation of lower grades and from around the world."
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