Prime Minister Netanyahu
Prime Minister Netanyahu Flash90

The government will hold a debate Thursday on the exit strategy for the closure which was imposed in response to the coronavirus crisis.

According to the central outline that will be presented to ministers, starting this coming Sunday, and within two weeks, the percentage of the workforce at work will start to rise from 15% to 50%.

At the same time, stores and shopping centers with up to 15 stores will be allowed to open, subject to regulation by the Health Ministry.

Gradually, special education, kindergartens and schools up to the third grade will reopen, but the number of students in the classroom will be limited.

According to the proposal, businesses that do not sell food or produce essential items will also be allowed to open their doors.

If all goes well, the second stage of the reopening of the economy would begin in early May, with the workforce restored to 85%, restrictions on some businesses lifted, and even the reopening of malls.

The third phase, which begins two weeks later and depends on the success of the first two stages, will allow the return of full business activity in the economy. It is unclear when school will reopen for students above the third grade.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett will present to the Cabinet Ministers tomorrow his plan to begin the return to the routine of the State of Israel, following the closures imposed on civilians as part of dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Bennett believes that the economy, commerce and the education system - kindergarten through third grade - should be opened immediately this Sunday.

According to the plan, almost 100% of businesses in Israel would open: manufacturing, trading and services, with the exception of leisure, entertainment and large concentrations, with the exception of employees over 65 or workers with background illnesses.

At the same time, Minister Bennett proposes to take a number of additional steps, including strengthening social distancing and the use of precautions, especially those aged 65 and over, and special treatment for those aged 50-6 and paying special attention to nursing homes and elderly centers.

According to Bennett's proposal, coronavirus testing should be accelerated and the time to analyze the results significantly improved.

The Defense Minister also proposed to make targeted closures on severely affected areas at the building or neighborhood level and not to adopt a general closure.

Bennett said that "the economic and medical damage and damage to Israel's national power from a continued closure is incomparably greater than the direct medical risk of the coronavirus, which is manageable. Continued closure at a similar (or slightly reduced) level would cause a serious injury to the State of Israel and its citizens."

He said: "Hundreds of thousands of self-employed people see their businesses destroyed, one million unemployed see the complete loss of income. The closure that was right in the fog of the epidemic is not right now."