Israeli universities, schools in virus hotspots to reopen Sunday

Religious seminaries, non-formal education institutions and youth movements also set to resume activities next week despite new cases of COVID-19 in schools; high school in Jerusalem shut down after 5 students, 6 teachers test positive

Tamar Trabelsi Hadad|
Israel's higher education institutions and schools located in coronavirus hotspots, which have remained shuttered, will be reopened on Sunday, the government confirmed.
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  • The announcement comes following a Thursday meeting of government officials, including Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Education Minister Yoav Galant.
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    Students at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva
    Students at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva
    Students at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva
    (Photo: Danny Machlis)
    The facilities are set to reopen under tight Health Ministry guidelines, including a requirement to wear face masks, adherence to social distancing rules and all gatherings to be limited to a maximum of 50 people in one space.
    The ministers also decided to allow youth movements to resume their activity from this weekend. Religious seminaries, non-formal education institutions, excluding summer camps, are also set to reopen.
    Universities and colleges will be allowed to resume in-person lectures and in-class exams starting this Sunday.
    All schools in so-called "red zones," where the rate of COVID-19 spread has been higher than average, will also resume its full activities on Sunday.
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    צילום: עמית הובר
    צילום: עמית הובר
    Tel Aviv University in times of coronavirus
    (Photo: Amit Huber )
    "I am glad that Israel is getting back to normal,” said Edelstein. “In order for us not to go back into lockdown, we must adhere to the Health Ministry guidelines.”
    "I welcome the decision,” said Galant. “The education and health systems are jointly enlisted to resume educational activities to a full routine, thus allowing the Israeli economy to return to normal."
    In the meantime, the number of infections inside Israeli schools continue to rise, with the latest incident occurring in Gymnasia Rehavia high school in Jerusalem, which have been closed down after 11 students and seven staff members tested positive for coronavirus.
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