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Israel is Opening Up Again

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

On TV last night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his Covid-19 Exit Plan. Some schools started opening already this week with half-classes in half-day shifts. Shops on the street have been open since last week and now malls, libraries and gyms among other things are set to open in the coming week. Large gatherings are still banned (and likely will be for a long time) but the hope is to get through the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer (and not have 600,000 people congregate at Mount Meron in the north for the world's biggest tailgate party) and then take a look at the situation and see if things can be opened up just in time for wedding season.

As far as tourism goes? As an Israel tour guide, that's my big concern (after our collective health and safety, of course). Well Netanyahu was on a world leader conference call yesterday with the heads of 7 countries whose handling of the coronavirus has been relatively exemplary (sorry USA) and are talking about opening up flights and tourism between them with coronavirus tests available at airports prior to flights (apparently it will take 2-3 hours to get results). Obviously the hope is that after 2 months of lockdown that we are not opening up too soon but this staggered reopening should be able to assess that. Tourism overall will likely be the last thing to open up but the plans are to fully reopen the country by mid-June if all is well here. For more on the story click on the article below:

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