בנימין נתניהו בפתח ישיבת קבינט הקורונה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: GPO
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Israel mulls limiting social gatherings to 19 people

'Coronavirus cabinet' debate ends in stalemate as ministers and health officials fail to agree whether to limit public gatherings from 250 to just 50 people; finance minister also rejects request to restrict summer schools; public sector staff to work from home

Itamar Eichner, Adir Yanko |
Published: 06.28.20 , 14:12
Israeli ministers participating in the coronavirus cabinet on Sunday said to have mulled restricting social gatherings to 19 people in light of the COVID-19 resurgence in the country, officials said.
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  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the special cabinet meeting after the number of new daily diagnoses has exceeded the 600 mark for several days in a row.
    בנימין נתניהו בפתח ישיבת קבינט הקורונהבנימין נתניהו בפתח ישיבת קבינט הקורונה
    Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: GPO )
    Although no final decision was made, another meeting on the issue was to take place on Monday.
    The Health Ministry's officials also demanded to limit all public gatherings to less than 50 people, a request which many government ministers strongly opposed. The government gave a go-ahead to hold cultural events of up to 250 people less than two weeks ago.
    Sources said the ministry also demanded for students at summer schools to study in groups. Every class would be divided into two groups and each group would spend a week at school and a week a home.
    ישראל כץ ישראל כץ
    Finance Minister Israel Katz
    (Photo: GPO)
    Finance Minister Israel Katz said the decision would leave many parents at home looking after their children, unable to go to work. Katz urged the government to open all summer schools as planned on July 1.
    The finance minister also called to increase enforcement of health orders and said he is working to formulate a bill that would give local municipalities authority to shut down businessed that don't adhere to virus rules. He said the move would prevent wide-ranging sanctions from being imposed, which could hurt businesses that don't violate the orders.
    אכיפה לבישת מסכהאכיפה לבישת מסכה
    Jerusalem police enforces virus orders
    In addition, Netanyahu ordered to reduce the epidemiologic investigation process time and shorten the waiting time for those wishing to get tested for COVID-19.
    He also said the staffing at offices in the public sector could be downsized by 30%, with staff members going back to working from home.
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