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Israel’s Closure Gradually Lifted as Schools Prepare to Reopen
A boy receives a mask and gloves as he enters the Gilboa School in Beit Alpha, Israel, May 3, 2020. (Israel Education Ministry)

Israel’s Closure Gradually Lifted as Schools Prepare to Reopen

Israel’s health and education ministries will convene Monday evening, several hours before the start of the school day Tuesday, to determine precisely how to reopen the nation’s education system. Over the weekend, the Cabinet voted to partially lift the total shutdown imposed in Israel over the past six weeks, as some businesses were allowed to reopen and schools across the country were told to prepare to open their doors on Tuesday. Yet exactly what grades, in which schools and in what towns and cities have yet to be ironed out, and officials warn of potential chaos in the classrooms on Tuesday. On Sunday, Israel’s test positivity rate continued its encouraging downward trend, with “just” 8.8% of all coronavirus tests returning positive. Active serious cases also were down, to just over 1,120, but so were the number of vaccines administered, as for the second consecutive week Israelis seem less inclined to receive the Pfizer shot, now available to all citizens ages 16 and up. Just over two million, out of a population of 9 million, have been inoculated against the coronavirus in Israel.

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