Three major shopping malls have opened their doors for customers as they make good on a threat to break a national coronavirus lockdown that has left them shuttered for over a month and for most of the past year.
The malls, located in Bat Yam, Karmiel and Petah Tikva, have applied their own health standards for reopening while aiming to prevent the sites from becoming virus infection hubs.
They have allowed in people 60 and over only if they’ve received both doses of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; people under 60 who have received the first shot; those who have recovered from COVID-19; those who have tested negative in the past 72 hours; and those under age 16.
Though police have arrived at all three locations to enforce the lockdown, they have mostly ordered store owners to close up rather than issuing fines, Hebrew media reports.
The revolt was called by a forum that represents over 400 mall owners, chain stores, small businesses, and executives from the restaurant, tourism, hotel, and entertainment industries. Though the forum had urged for many more stores and other malls to open, only three eventually complied.