Israel’s nationwide lockdown will be extended at least until Sunday as officials determine the next step toward reopening, despite warnings from the finance minister that the policy has pushed small firms to the brink of collapse.
The country’s coronavirus cabinet met late into Tuesday night to discuss an exit plan from the lockdown, re-imposed in September amid a wave of new infections, but decided the measures would remain in force over the weekend.
“The decision to ease restrictions and allow for a gradual exit from the lockdown will require a constant and certain decrease in morbidity rates, and reaching that will take a few days,” the Health Ministry and the prime minister’s office said in a joint statement after the meeting.
While the lockdown will stay in place, the cabinet did loosen restrictions to allow close relatives to travel more than one kilometer in order to attend a wedding, and lifted restrictions barring professional athletes from training.
Read More: Israel extends coronavirus lockdown as finance minister warns of businesses ‘collapsing’