Cabinet meets again Thursday on 2nd stage of covid exit

The plan finally approved Sunday night is for the 1-2 school grades to split in two, each attending school three days a week. PM Binyamin Netanyahu ruled on this plan against Health Minister Yuly Edelstein’s demand to apply the “capsulate” (small class) system. Finance Minister Yisrael Katz had contended that this system was too expensive. It called for an outlay of NIS 6bn ($1.8bn), weeks of preparation and an extra 13,000 teaching staff. This argument held up decisions on the second stage of exit from the coronavirus lockdown due to begin next Sunday, when street shops, alternative medicine clinics, hairdressers and beauty salons should also reopen. Netanyahu warned that if the numbers climb, restrictions will be clamped down again.

Monday morning, the Health Ministry reported 692 new coronavirus cases, lifting the total to 309,413 of whom 15,833 were active and serious cases climbed to a worrying 548. The death toll also rose to 2,372, although a low 2.8pc of tests proved positive. Coronavirus director Yossi Gamzu said he was not satisfied that these figures were low enough for a safe exit from the pandemic..

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