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Israelis Joyfully Visit Malls and Markets

"Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her." Isa. 66:10

Newspaper headlines across Israel on Thur. morning 7 May 2020 portrayed what looked like the grand opening of an array of festivals. Malls, outdoor markets, and gyms reopened that morning after six weeks of closure, as Israel’s numbers of daily new cases of the novel coronavirus remained in the low dozens. In Jerusalem, patrons lined up early outside Jerusalem's landmark Mahane Yehuda market, where guards checked their temperature before allowing them to enter and made sure the market was not overcrowded. “This is a day of celebration for Mahane Yehuda,” said Tali Friedman, a union representative for the shop owners. “The market is open and we hope it remains open." Pini Tzidkiyahu, who runs a fruit store in the market, told Army Radio: “We will protect the public’s health. The fruit is only in boxes, everyone is wearing gloves and everyone who needs a mask gets one.”

In Tel Aviv, the Carmel and Levinsky markets also reopened Thur. morning, along with several other open-air markets in Haifa and Beersheba. Malls and outdoor markets have been shut since mid-March 2020 as part of a series of sweeping measures put in place by Israel to attempt to contain the virus, though they came at the expense of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Shopping malls and markets will face various restrictions, including limiting the number of shoppers allowed to enter shops to one person for every 20 square meters and working to ensure a distance of two meters between customers. They will also be required to put up signs listing the maximum number of people allowed on the premises. (VFI News)