Cabinet approves events for up to 50 people in open spaces
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Cabinet approves events for up to 50 people in open spaces

As new virus cases remain low, government says venues can once against host events, so long as distancing and hygiene are maintained

Illustrative: Gal Sade Knigsfild and Nofar Almakias pose for a picture with face masks before their wedding in Moshav Yashresh on April 6, 2020 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Illustrative: Gal Sade Knigsfild and Nofar Almakias pose for a picture with face masks before their wedding in Moshav Yashresh on April 6, 2020 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The cabinet on Friday approved holding events in open spaces with up to 50 people in attendance, including weddings and other celebrations, in light of the continued low coronavirus infection rate throughout the country.

Businesses must meet social distancing and hygiene standards, including the need for participants to wear masks at all times.

The past week has seen only some 200 new cases identified throughout the country. Health Ministry data Friday morning showed that the total number of cases was 16,589, of whom 12,587 have recovered from COVID-19, meaning the number of active cases was down to 3,736.

The number of new infections has slowed dramatically in recent weeks. Israel has gone 14 days without seeing over 100 new confirmed cases in a single day.

Amid the sustained drop in infections, the government has increasingly rolled back restrictions meant to curb the outbreak, opening some schools and allowing many businesses to reopen.

On Sunday the school system was expected to open up fully for the first time, after some two months during which Israeli children were ordered to stay home in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Thursday that Israel’s beaches will reopen to the public next Wednesday after a nearly two-month shuttering.

However, authorities were bracing for a possible second wave of infections after thousands of ultra-Orthodox men gathered Monday night and Tuesday in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Mount Meron to celebrate Lag B’Omer in violation of guidelines.

Hundreds also gathered at a funeral Tuesday for an IDF soldier killed during a West Bank raid. Additional violations have been reported across the country, from passengers crowded on a domestic flight to Eilat to beach-goers who ignored the still-in-effect closure of shores amid unseasonably sweltering weather.

On Wednesday evening, the Health Ministry issued a statement denying having given a go-ahead for Israel Railways to start running again, only hours after the Transportation Ministry announced that limited intercity service would begin on Sunday. Train service is now expected to resume in early June.

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