Israel eases some lockdown measures as virus cases decline

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By TIA GOLDENBERG Associated Press

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel decided on Thursday to relax some of the restrictions imposed during a monthlong nationwide lockdown that was meant to drive down a raging coronavirus outbreak.

The country’s coronavirus Cabinet voted to resume daycare and pre-school for children up to six years old, allow some businesses — those without walk-in customers — to reopen, and cancel a 1,000 meter (yard) restriction on movement. Those limits are set to be lifted on Sunday.

Israel imposed a second nationwide lockdown on Sept. 18 as the country was seeing surging case numbers, shutting down schools, restaurants and hotels, among other businesses, and at the time it had one of the world’s worst outbreaks, measured for its population of 9 million people. The lockdown pushed infections down from highs of 9,000 new virus cases a day to around 2,000 new infections.

The worst outbreaks have been in areas populated by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who tend to live in crowded communities and have large families, settings that can precipitate infection. But segments of the ultra-Orthodox community have also flouted the lockdown rules, packing synagogues and holding…



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