Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Thursday the gradual exit from the nationwide lockdown "won't be short" and might be halted at some point if coronavirus resurges.
Edelstein's remarks came shortly after Israel's coronavirus cabinet voted to reopen small business that don't involve interaction with the public, kindergartens, take-away food services and beaches starting Sunday.
Speaking during a press briefing, the health minister said easing of the restrictions is "not a victory party" and he is still worried about possible COVID-19 outbreaks at kindergartens.
"We have to do everything to make the exit gradual," he said. "We understand the economic difficulties, so from Sunday the business that operate without interaction with the public will reopen. Our professional staff and the Finance Ministry are working on the last details to ensure that there is no outbreak in the kindergartens," he added.
"It could happen that during the exit from the lockdown, which will not be short, there will be situations in which we will have to stop."
He warned, however, the public shouldn't be complacent now that some restrictions are lifted. "This does not mean that it is now allowed to gather and go anywhere you want. The gatherings are the most dangerous," he said.
"Whenever more easing of restrictions is approved, we will see a certain increase in infection. It is not a reason to panic."
During Thursday's coronavirus cabinet meeting, which lasted nearly five hours, ministers also approved events and weddings with up to 10 people in confined spaces and up to 20 participants in an open area.