Stage 2 of lockdown exit reopens malls, performing arts, more schools

Sunday sees more than 1,2 million children in preschools, grades 4, 5, 6 and the higher 11th and 12th grades back at school, along with the full reopening of retail trade in shops, malls and markets, as well as pools, gyms and theaters. They must operate under the health rules designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Teachers, parents and pupils of the intermediate grades plan to stage classes in the shopping malls to protest their year-long confinement at home while trade was allowed to reopen. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein insisted that to avert a fresh surge of the virus, the reopening of schools take place in gradual stages corresponding to the decline in infection and expansion of vaccinations. With continued improvement, all schools will resume studies on March 7 as the country advances to Stage 3 of the exit from the month-long lockdown.
The improvement of the past week was reflected on Saturday, with 3,011 new cases and 6.2pc positive tests and 858 patients in hospital in serious condition, with 295 on respirators. Deaths increased to a total of 5,521. A hospital failed save a mother of four, aged 32 in advanced stage of pregnancy, who was admitted to hospital on Saturday with a serious bout of coronavirus. Her baby was delivered stillborn.

So far, 4,225 million Israelis have received their first shots of the covid vaccine, and 2,852 million, their second.

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