Netanyahu's Simchat Torah message
Netanyahu's Simchat Torah messagePrime Minister's Office

The Coronavirus Cabinet convened today (Thursday, October 15, 2020) to decide on easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions announced over the High Holidays.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting that, "So far, the lockdown has been a huge success. We have seen a consistent decline in all virus-related stats. We'd like to see the country moving towards goals proposed to us by the Ministry of Health, and do this in a way that avoids another closure in two or three weeks. We need to move ahead cautiously."

"There is no doubt that we've experienced a great deal of success that is already being discussed around the world—especially Europe, where a number of countries have already passed us by in terms of the infection rate, and are only now trying to decide what we've already established."

"I would also like to point out that the dramatic drop in morbidity over the past three weeks has been influenced by people conforming to health guidelines. Our part as elected officials is to continue calling on the public to heed directives, including wearing masks and social distancing," he concluded.

The head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, presented the ministers with data indicating a consistent decrease in the national infection rate.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that despite his earlier opposition, he would agree to begin the first phase of the reopening as early as this coming Sunday.

Netanyahu noted that if infections return, restrictions will be reimposed.

Minister Meirav Cohen said at the hearing, "When we remove the rule against venturing within a kilometer of one's home, people will finally have an opportunity to visit their parents and grandparents. I call on the public to visit their family members as soon as possible while following the health safety guidelines."