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Netanyahu, Gantz agree on Purim restrictions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed that trade will open this coming Sunday to Israelis who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and restrictions will be imposed during the Purim holiday to prevent gatherings.

The malls are expected to open, as will gyms and hotels without dining rooms. Children will be able to receive entrance checks instead of preventing a vaccine certificate.

The decision regarding Purim was made after Coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash presented to the Coronavirus Cabinet the outline for the restrictions the Health Ministry seeks for Purim.

The outline includes a ban on parties, carnivals, events with multiple participants, a ban on mobile joy floats, and holiday meals may only include the nuclear family.

In addition, according to the proposed outline in synagogues, it will be possible to pray in capsules of up to ten people and with rigid partitions between the capsules.

The maximum number of worshipers in the synagogues according to the outline will be 100 people, including this coming Saturday.

The Coronavirus Czar also proposed closing the tomb of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron.

Prof. Ash told the ministers: “Nothing we suggest is done out of blindness; any statement saying we only look at health is wrong. Gradual opening serves the economy. A quick opening will lead to further lockdown. It’s not good for the economy, not good for society.”

“If someone had told me two months ago that in such a situation we’d open the economy, I’d have told him he was crazy. But we’re doing it. There’s no miracle or surprise here, there’s an effect by various factors. The more we open, it’ll rise again,” he added.

Prof. Ash drew the ministers’ attention to the fact that only a third of the State of Israel, including those recovering from the coronavirus, have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It won’t prevent disease,” he emphasizes. “We are opening up the economy while examining the data,” says Ash. “The green badge is problematic regarding children, and it may be that in some places we can admit children by testing. And I hope we move on to speed tests. The best solution would be speed tests at the entrance to any business.”

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri protested at the meeting that the Health Ministry’s outline for weddings includes only up to 20 people.

“The ordinance of 20 people isn’t serious, because even immediate family is more than that. The possibility of getting married must be increased, another layout must be built for weddings. Stadiums, games, performances – and weddings aren’t opened? Why can you go to the mall and not to a wedding? Remember, friends: What is impossible to explain logically, it’s impossible to enforce, so we must speak logically.”

Regarding Purim, Deri called to ban all gatherings on the holiday. “We must not repeat what happened last Purim, even though no one was guilty or committed an offense, but we weren’t aware – and we know the result. We must ban all gatherings on Purim, but we need to check how.” However, he asked to allow the public to come to the synagogues this coming Shabbat for the Zachor Torah reading.

Source: Arutz Sheva