Wedding halls said set to open next week with 100-guest limit
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Wedding halls said set to open next week with 100-guest limit

Health Ministry plan, reportedly set for cabinet vote in coming days, would allow event venues to host gatherings if social distancing and hygiene measures are kept

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)

As Israel continues to relax its coronavirus-related restrictions, the Health Ministry is reportedly planning to recommend that event halls reopen, allowing weddings with up 100 guests to take place as early as next week.

Weddings and funerals are currently allowed to have up to 50 people if they are held in open areas. According to the Health Ministry plan, all gatherings held in event halls will be permitted to host 100 people as long as social distancing and hygiene measures are kept, Channel 12 reported Tuesday.

The plan is set to voted on by the cabinet later in the week, the report said.

On Tuesday, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced that theaters will be allowed to open and hold performances on June 14, under certain similar conditions.

“According to the agreements reached, the audience will be seated in the auditorium while maintaining two chairs between each person, and with no more than 100 people in the hall at one time,” Regev said in a statement.

The further relaxation of lockdown measures comes as Health Ministry figures continue to show no more than a few dozen new infections daily. Israel has taken a series of steps in the last two weeks to begin gradually reopening its economy and rolling back restrictions on movement and small gatherings, with many clamoring for a swifter return to levels of service seen in pre-pandemic days.

People shop at the Malha Mall in Jerusalem after it reopened according to new government orders, May 7, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After malls and open-air markets opened last week, the Economy Ministry on Sunday presented the Health Ministry with a proposal for reopening cafes and restaurants that remain closed.

Although the government has been looking at releasing eateries from the restrictions at the end of the month, the Economy Ministry was said to have sought for the date be brought forward to the middle of next week.

Sunday saw the cabinet approve the reopening of parks and nature reserves, with people allowed to use public gym equipment in public gardens as long as they respect social distancing rules. However, children’s playgrounds were still closed.

In another relaxing of virus-related restrictions, travelers from abroad arriving in the country are no longer required to spend two weeks of quarantine in state-overseen isolation hotels, and instead returning Israelis and others whose lives are centered in Israel are allowed to self-quarantine at home if they can do so.

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