No restrictions for Hanukkah and winter festivals

The coronavirus cabinet voted Thursday against a three-week “tight-restraints” regimen or other shutdowns for the eight-day Hanukkah festival, Christmas and New Year, after running into strong opposition. These measures were delayed until such time as the  covid infection reaches an R 1,32 coefficient or rises to 2,500 new cases a day. During the festival season, the health minister urged celebrants to make sure to keep to the standing guidelines limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people, avoid large family occasions and wear masks. Compliance is the key until mass vaccination is possible in the months to come. The first are due to begin on Dec. 27.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health counted 1,828 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and 2.6pc positive tests. There were 318 seriously ill patients in hospital with 100 on ventilators. The number of deaths reached 2,934.

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