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Israel Reopens Most of Economy After Months of Lockdown

Tel Aviv, Friday, March. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Tel Aviv, Friday, March. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli restaurants, bars, entertainment centers, hotels, sporting events, and primary and secondary schools reopened on Sunday after being shuttered for months to stop the coronavirus.

Some restrictions on crowd sizes remain and certain places were open only to those who are fully vaccinated.

Israel has endured months of government-imposed lockdowns that have battered the economy. The ease in restrictions comes as Israel continues to lead one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns.

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More than 52% of Israel’s population of 9.3 million has received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and nearly 40% are fully immunized. Israel’s vaccination rate continues to climb as the number of serious coronavirus cases goes down.

Despite the vaccine success and the lifted restrictions, many Israeli businesses are struggling to bounce back after months of lockdown.

According to the Israeli Restaurants and Bars Association, at least half of Israeli restaurants will initially remain closed. Many will attempt to reopen over the next two weeks while others will wait until after the Passover holiday.

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The ease in restrictions comes less than three weeks before Israel’s fourth national election in two years.

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