רציפים ריקים בתל אביב
Empty platforms in the Tel Aviv railway stations
School closed near Tel Aviv

New coronavirus measures: What's closed and what's still open

With a set of new measures meant to combat COVID-19 spread recently introduced, many Israelis feel confused as to which services are still at their disposal and which business sectors are considered 'non-essential'

Ynet |
Published: 03.15.20 , 12:13
The government on Sunday announced a series of drastic steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with bans and restriction that will affect most aspects of life for Israelis.
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  • Education system

    All educational facilities will be closed indefinitely starting Sunday. The list includes kindergartens, private child-care, special education, boarding schools, youth movements, and afterschool centers. On Thursday it was already announced that all regular schools, universities and colleges will be closed until after the Passover holiday in late April.
    All academic institutions are in the process of moving all lectures and classes online.
    There is no final decision yet as to whether or not to hold, nation-wide matriculation exams.
    בית ספר יוספטל באזורבית ספר יוספטל באזור
    School closed near Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi )

    Retail

    Because of the restrictions banning any gatherings with more than 10 people in any one location, all shops - with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and banks - will be closed.
    Pharmacies and food stores have been ordered to serve no more than 10 people at a time and observe a two-meter (6.5 feet) distance between each customer.
    The Rami Levy supermarket chain has already said it is considering a 24/hour a day service to meet high public demand.
    Restaurants and cafes will be able to offer take-away meals and deliveries. Public dining rooms, including those in hotels, will also remain closed.
    רציפים ריקים בתל אביברציפים ריקים בתל אביב
    Empty platforms in the Tel Aviv railway stations

    Public transport and travel

    The Transportation Ministry has canceled most bus lines to schools and universities as well as to entertainment hotspots and are calling on the public to stay away from public transport for non-essential travel.
    As of Tuesday, there will be no cash payment available for public transportation to minimize contact between the passengers and the drivers. Passengers will only be allowed to pay by using Rav Kav travel card.
    Car licensing procedures, including driving tests, will also be halted and any licensing renewal courses will be held in groups of under 10 people.
    The public is urged to restrict private car travel by having a maximum of two people in one vehicle.
    בנק יהב בירושלים המרחק בין הלקוחות לפקידים 2 מטרבנק יהב בירושלים המרחק בין הלקוחות לפקידים 2 מטר
    A bank officer maintains a minimum distance from clients
    (Photo: Moshe Mizrahi)

    Workplaces

    Economic activity has not been halted completely but there are restrictions including those that prohibit more than 10 people working in one space.
    A minimum of two-meter distance must be observed between employees in one work space.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on employers to allow work from home when possible and refrain from insisting on non-essential workers traveling to their places of work. He added, however, it is ultimately up to the CEOs to decide which is employee is deemed as "non-essential".
    Israel's welfare system will also remain operational as social workers are considered as "essential" workforce and will be on hand to serve the public in need.
    Population and Immigration Authority will provide service only in extreme or emergency cases.
    The employment agencies will remain closed and employment training programs have been suspended.
    All in house care facilities under the auspices of the Ministry for Social Welfare will remain open, including mental health centers, nursing homes and child and youth institutions.
    Day-care facilities for the elderly and others in need will be closed.
    Physical therapy and other paramedical places of business will be closed.
    IDF soldiersIDF soldiers
    IDF soldiers
    (Photo: Shutterstock)

    The army

    A new group of inductees is to be conscripted into military service Sunday. Families and friends will no longer be allowed into the enlistment facilities for the ceremony.
    The military has halted all pre-enlistment selection procedures for elite units including the airforce, navy and infantry programs.
    Non-combat and non-essential troops had been asked to stay home and return to the bases on Sunday. Combat troops, meanwhile, were instructed to return to base prepared for a month-long stay.
    Surfers at Tel Aviv beachSurfers at Tel Aviv beach
    Surfers at Tel Aviv beach
    (Photo: AFP)

    Attractions

    Israel's Nature and Park Authority said all national parks will stay open - with a limited number of visitors - but heritage sites will be closed.
    Local staff will enforce safety regulations based on the authority's guidelines. Groups with more than 10 people will not be allowed. Non-Israeli national will also be banned.
    The Municipality of Tel Aviv has also said is suspending all public beachfront services, including lifeguards.
    The municipality has announced it will launch online programs for families at home, including community aid programs, for people to assist neighbors who are living alone or others who may require child-care, tutoring or running errands for people in self-quarantine.
    The city will deploy its inspectors and parking officials only in extreme cases.
    Public libraries will be opened but will restrict entrance to 10 people at a time.
    Gyms, swimming pools, zoos, water parks will all be closed. Movie theatres and theater halls will also be shut.
    קניון מלחה ריק מאנשים בעקבות הנחיות משרד הבריאותקניון מלחה ריק מאנשים בעקבות הנחיות משרד הבריאות
    Empty shopping center in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
    All bars, restaurants including hotel and other public dining rooms to close. Wedding halls and party venues to close.

    Testing for the coronavirus

    Two additional medical laboratories will be available for testing for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of labs in Israel to four. At least 2000 tests are set to be screened for the virus as of Sunday, according to the Health Ministry.

    Religious events

    The Religious Affairs Ministry has closed all-male ritual baths and has kept women's facilities open under restrictions because they are required under religious law.
    The Health Ministry announced gathering of over 10 people for Brith (circumcision) ceremonies is banned and the minimum distance of two meters between all people must be maintained.
    Places of worship are restricted to up to 10 people at a time and they must maintain a two-meter distance between them.

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