Israel opens malls, gyms, as COVID-19 numbers drop

February 22, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel entered on Sunday the next phase in the easing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions as malls and gyms reopened and grades 5-6 and 11-12 went back to school.

Photo by Eitan Elhadaz/TPS 21 February, 2021

Street shops, markets, and malls are accessible to all, but entry to gyms, hotels, swimming pools and cultural and sporting events requires a Green Pass given to Israelis who have received two COVID-19 vaccines or who have recovered from the virus.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein visited a gym in Petah Tikva on Saturday ahead of the opening of the sector.

Netanyahu said that the health system is currently administering vaccines at a pace of around 30,000 a day for people over age 50, where most of the COVID-19 casualties are.

In the coming two weeks, Israel intends to vaccinate over 95% of those in this age group, he said.

As for the gradual opening of the education system, he warned of the British variant which β€œis striking children. We still do not know its effect.”

The daily number of COVID-19 infections continued to decline over the weekend.

The Ministry of Health updated Sunday that it documented 4,553 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

Of the 18,297 tests done over the weekend, a dropping 6.4% returned positive.

847 patients hospitalized with Corona are in serious condition, 284 of them are on life support.

5,542 Israelis have died of the virus since the outbreak in the country a year ago.

Over 4,300,000 Israelis have received the first dose of the Pfizer-developed COVID-19 vaccine, and some 2.9 million Israelis have received the second dose.

Close to 60% of all IDF soldiers have received the COVID-19 vaccines.

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