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Lapid admits mistakes were made in COVID policy, vows compensation to businesses

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on November 6, 2021.  (Ohad Zwigenberg/POOL)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on November 6, 2021. (Ohad Zwigenberg/POOL)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid admits that mistakes have been made in the government’s response to the current COVID-19 wave, adding that the government wants to compensate businesses harmed by the pandemic’s fallout but “doesn’t have unlimited money.”

Lapid’s office releases a statement with the remarks, which were originally planned to be made at the outset of the Yesh Atid faction meeting. But Lapid has entered quarantine after coming in contact with a COVID-19 patient, causing the faction meeting to be canceled.

“In the face of COVID-19, not all of the government’s decisions will be correct. There won’t be a situation of zero mistakes. There’s no such thing. Not in Israel, not anywhere else. The question is whether we want to be angry, or deal with it together,” he says in the statement.

Lapid defends the frequently changing rules: “This is a pandemic that changes all the time. So we need to react quickly and frequently change the instructions. When you work quickly, there are mistakes. The test is the ability to work together and fix the mistakes in real time.”

He says he’s aware of the long lines at testing sites, the chaos at schools and the ailing businesses. “We’re dealing with all this, better and faster than most governments worldwide, but not perfectly and it also won’t [ever] be perfect.”

Lapid says Israel must balance between an open economy and lowering the death toll.

Regarding businesses, he says: “We won’t abandon businesses that were harmed, we will ensure compensation, but the government doesn’t have unlimited money.”

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