Cafe (illustrative)
Cafe (illustrative) iStock

The government has authorized a raft of new measures reversing lockdown regulations, including many that affect the tourist industry and sports and leisure activities. The measures were passed by telephone vote and come into force on Wednesday, May 27.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office stressed that: “This easing of lockdown regulations has only been made possible due to the continued downward trend in the number of new cases of coronavirus, which is itself due to the public’s adherence to the rules made by the government designed to limit rates of contagion.”

Restaurants, bars, and pubs:

These may reopen and serve seated customers.

The number of customers allowed at any one time is the number stated on the business license; or, in a place where capacity is greater than 100, 85% of the maximum capacity.

Swimming pools (excepting children’s pools):

One person per six meters square.

Tourist attractions, cable cars, boating:

Cable cars – up to 50% of full capacity and not more than 20 people per car.

Stores, markets, malls, non-medical treatments:

One person per seven meters square; or up to 50 people, as long as space constraints permit social distancing.

General regulations for private facilities:

  • Social distancing must be adhered to (at least two meters between people).
  • Face masks must be worn, and hygiene regulations adhered to.
  • Where people stand in line, places must be marked out in order to ensure that they are spaced appropriately.
  • If the facility has a service desk, there must be a physical barrier between customer and service provider to prevent respiratory transmission.
  • Unlike public service providers, private facilities will not be required to submit an online document via the Finance Ministry’s website, and may resume operation from two days after the publication of these guidelines.
  • Any business found in breach of guidelines will be fined NIS 2,000. An events hall found with more people present than the permitted number will be fined NIS 5,000.


The number of employees allowed in a single workspace is no longer restricted, as long as social distancing is observed; or, alternatively, as long as there are physical barriers between employees that prevent respiratory transmission.

Up to 50 people may be present at a business meeting, again subject to social distancing.

Private vehicles:

Up to two passengers in addition to the driver. If the vehicle has more than one row of seats behind the driver, that row may accommodate an additional passenger. This applies also to taxi services.

If the passengers and driver are all from one home, or the trip is urgent, more passengers may be accommodated.

“Great news today,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said with regard to the new guidelines. “Restaurants, pubs, bars, parks, and swimming pools are now permitted to reopen. First of all, we want to help the economy – to help business owners and the self-employed who have all been waiting for this moment. Secondly, we want to make people’s lives easier, so that we can go out and get a breath of fresh air, get back to routine as much as possible, drink a coffee or a beer with friends.

“We’ll be following developments closely to make sure that the rates of contagion don’t rise as a result, and we hope very much that lockdown will soon become a thing of the past.”