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An Israeli cafe is closed during lockdown last year
Photo: AP
An Israeli cafe is closed during lockdown last year

Culture, tourism industries plan to open, defying COVID restrictions

Industry leaders bash government for its inaction amid prolonged lockdowns that devastated businesses, say service will be given to vaccinated citizens, those showing negative coronavirus test and children under 16

Meirav Crystal |
Published: 02.10.21 , 10:33
Professionals in the culture and tourism industries will present an independent plan to reopen their businesses in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions as early as this coming Thursday, industry leaders said, joining the heads of commerce, shopping malls and restaurants who vowed last week to do the same.
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  • "Commerce and other industries remain shuttered while they could have been providing services since yesterday," representatives of the two industries told a press conference Tuesday.
    "We don't have the luxury of waiting for a government that stalls and zigzags, and most importantly does not make decisions."
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    An Israeli cafe is closed during lockdown last year
    (Photo: AP)
    The announcement follows a decision by the Israel Commerce Forum to open all trade in the country from Thursday, including markets, restaurants and shopping malls.
    The forum said they would observe the social distancing regulations used by businesses that the government has allowed to reopen since the nationwide lockdown partially ended on Sunday morning.
    Cafes and fast food chains have also announced that they plan to open their branches on Thursday.
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    An abandoned shopping center in the northern village of Yarka during the pandemic
    "The entire economy is on life support. We won't wait even one more day," Association of Retail, Fashion and Catering Chairman Shahar Turgeman said.
    "This train has left the station, we will no longer wait for this government of inaction. This outline may not be perfect, but it is better than the nothing the government has."
    Nonetheless, some small businesses and international companies operating in Israel, including the H&M and Zara fashion chains, have announced that they will not open without government approval.
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    An abandoned shopping mall in Rishon Lezion during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Photo: Shmulik Davidpur)
    The proposed outline will only allow shops to admit customers and employees who fall under one of several categories: People under the age of 60 who have had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; those over the age of 60 who have had received both shots; those who have had been issued a state certificate showing they have recovered from COVID-19; those presenting a negative coronavirus test from the previous 72 hours; and children under the age of 16.
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