Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech Monday night in which he presented the government’s exit strategy from the coronavirus crisis.
”Our response to the coronavirus crisis continues unabated. We do not let go of the effort to overcome the virus, because being lax means danger,” Netanyahu said.
”We have invested a large national effort to curb the virus and have achieved very great success. On March 18, we were at 118 daily cases, through 729 and it has since dropped to 31.”
Netanyahu said: “In Israel, 235 people have died and each is an entire world, but look at what is happening in other developed countries. In Italy, 29,000 people died, in the United Kingdom 28,000, in Spain and France 25,000, and in the United States 69,000. In New York, which is about the size of Israel, an estimated 18,000. Israel serves as a model for other countries.”
He said: “Our success is based on the closure of borders, home isolation and digital surveillance. We have devised a comprehensive plan that will allow a return from the shade of the coronavirus. Restoring the public, the private space, and the economy to a kind of routine will continue to depend on you – in your self-discipline, mutual guarantee and responsibility.”
“We are abolishing the 100 meter limit for leaving the house. Visiting first-class family members is allowed as is visiting grandparents, but still not hugging, kissing and touching. I know it’s hard. We limit the gathering to 20 people in an open space, we will increase it to 50 and hope that by mid-June we can cancel the restrictions.”
“Because on Lag B’Omer has many weddings, we will allow weddings of up to 50 people, only the wedding will be held without celebrations. On May 31, 100 people will be allowed and on June 14, we will abolish the restrictions altogether, of course assuming that there are no [changes in the positive trends].”
Netanyahu said the entire education system will return to normal activity by the end of the month. ”On Sunday, kindergartens will return and on June 14, higher education will return. Shopping malls and markets will open on Thursday, buying food will be allowed but eating it there is prohibited. The restaurants will open later.”
Netanyahu emphasized: ” The horizon looks brighter, but the virus may burst again. We have to be ready for that. We are preparing for a new wave before a vaccine is found. ”
“I have loved going to Mahane Yehuda since childhood and buying food there. You can buy food but not eat it there. That will come soon,” the prime minister promised, adding that by mid-June, the sports and hotel centers will open.
Netanyahu warned that if the number of patients in serious condition rises to 250 the restrictions would have to be re-implemented.