The coronavirus cabinet voted on Wednesday evening to allow a maximum of 10 customers inside one store in an effort to combat overcrowding witnessed earlier this week in newly reopened open-air malls.
The government on Monday approved immediate reopening of all open-air shopping malls with only four customers are allowed inside one shop at the same time, prompting long crowded queues to develop outside businesses that in some cases descended into physical altercation.
As a result, the Health Ministry submitted its recommendation to the coronavirus cabinet asking the that larger businesses be be allowed to host more customers.
According to the latest amendment, one customer would be allowed inside for every seven meters of space but the overall number of shoppers must not be more than 10.
The Health Ministry's recommendation came following a demand from United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Asher, who asked the ministry to consider “a ranking system, according to which, stores of up to 50 square meters will host no more than four customers, while those with are over 50 square meters be allowed a more reasonable number.”
“When you see a line of hundreds of people, with a bouncer standing there making sure they don’t fight, it makes you think maybe an adjustment is needed,” added Asher.
Dr. Elrai-Price added the Health Ministry is developing other measures to helpfight overcrowding at shopping centers.
"The ministry is working on developing a barcode scan that will be placed at the entrance to the stores and will allow information to be collected on those entering in order to effectively cut off the chain of infection and allow stores to open for a larger number of customers."