Top health officials want to stick to reopening plan, despite virus uptick

Despite a rise in coronavirus infections, top health officials are reportedly sticking to the original plan to gradually reopen the economy, which will see restaurants and hotels open their doors to the vaccinated next week.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and coronavirus czar Nahman Ash tell ministers the easing of restrictions should go ahead as planned, according to Hebrew media reports. Channel 13 says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also inclined to adopt this position.

The audience waits on opening night at the Khan Theater during a performance where all guests were required to show proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination or full recovery from the virus, in Jerusalem, February 23, 2021. (AP/Maya Alleruzzo)

The next stage of the government’s reopening plan, scheduled for around March 7, includes allowing students in grades 7-10 to return to school in low-infection areas, reopening restaurants and cafes, permitting hotels and event venues to open in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines, and easing limitations on gatherings.

Ministers are meeting to discuss how to proceed with the lifting of the health rules.