Coronavirus test
Coronavirus test iStock

The government-approved coronavirus restrictions are expected to be eased at midnight on Sunday.

Among the decisions made were those permitting: the sale of food in restaurants without seating arrangements (take-away and delivery); operation of hairdressers and beauty salons; the reopening of high street stores (and not those located in indoor malls).

Restaurants are to be allowed to reopen as long as employees comply with public health guidelines. Barriers are to be set up between waiters and customers to prevent contagion. Employees will be divided among separate shifts, with social distancing and strict hygiene guidelines, including surface disinfection, going into effect.

Restaurant staff are to wear gloves and masks at all times and limit the number of customers entering at one time so that there are no more than two customers per register. No more than four customers per checkout will be allowed in businesses of over 100 square meters.

Business owners will have to submit a signed declaration stating that they will meet the specified conditions, regulate the entry of customers, screen them for signs of sickness, and divide employees among separate shifts. In the agreement, business owners also commit to assigning an employee to monitor virus-related health and safety issues. This employee will oversee the installation of partitions to prevent contact with customers, and ensure adherence to hygiene guidelines including stringent surface disinfection, social distancing rules, and avoidance of congestion at entrance points.

Store owners will be required to mark spots for customers waiting in line, place social distancing signs in prominent positions, and limit customer presence to two customers per cash register at any given time. In businesses where the premises are larger than 100 square meters, no more than four customers per checkout will be allowed, signs indicating social distancing rules and the maximum amount of clients will be posted, and owners will restrict entry into the store.

Hairdressers will be asked to follow the following rules: filing a declaration of compliance with the local authority; testing customers for signs of sickness; assigning employees to separate shifts; complying with hygiene directives including the disinfection of surfaces, dishes, customer seats; and thoroughly washing towels and robes between clients.

Residents will be allowed to leave their homes for short periods of time, but only within a 100-meter radius. According to regulations approved earlier this week, sporting events in groups of two or individuals sharing living quarters will be allowed within a 500-meter distance of their place of residence.

From Monday, everyone aged seven and up with the exception of disabled individuals will be required to wear a face mask in public spaces. Police warnings will no longer be given, and anyone caught without a face mask will be fined NIS 200.

Business owners will be levied fines of NIS 2,000 for violating the guidelines.

Channel 12 reported that some 200 companies – among them fashion chains, cafes, restaurants, and housing goods chains – have announced a strike, following their union's decision to provide compensation for 400 small- and medium-sized business chains.

The strike is set to continue until large chains also receive compensation packages. Among those on strike are: Fox Group, Castro, Hoodies, Cafe Cafe, Landver, Café Greg, Café Benedict, Hamashbir Lezarchan, Opticana, and H&M. These businesses have said that they will not be opening branches, including those in open commercial centers.