Amid encouraging coronavirus morbidity figures, high street shops across Israel reopened on Sunday after nearly two months of being shut due to the national lockdown.
Stores will be allowed to accommodate only four customers at a time while adhering to health regulations such as mandatory face masks.
However, other store owners in commercial centers and malls are still forbidden from reopening, prompting some to vow to reopen in defiance of the Health Ministry’s regulations.
The Retail Federation and one of Israel's largest retail chains, BIG Shopping Centers Group, said they will petition the High Court of Justice to allow them to reopen.
On Sunday morning, the Health Ministry reported that 207 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed Saturday with 8,310 tests conducted showing a positivity rate of 2.6%.
There are currently 8,638 active cases in the country, among those, 319 patients are in serious condition, with 143 connected to ventilators.
The death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic rose to 2,664.
The ministry also reported that Israel's current "red" coronavirus hotspots are the northern Druze communities of Buq'ata, Mas'ade and Beit Jann; the Arab villages of Nahf, Deir Hanna, Basma, Yafa an-Naseriyye, Arab al-Aramshe and Sallama and the northern town of Hatzor HaGlilit.
All of these localities are subject to strict travel and community restrictions.