The National Council of Coronavirus Experts convened to form recommendations to present to the Cabinet as the government considers extending the current lockdown yet again. Among the recommendations were proposals for reopening schools.
The participants proposed to the government three alternative methods for exiting from the lockdown: absorption - opening the economy and coming to terms with the resultant morbidity and mortality, containment - a gradual opening to avoid the coefficient of infection rising above a pre-defined threshold, the crossing of which will lead to a dramatic increase in morbidity, and eradication, an aggressive stance which aims to reduce the number of infections to zero.
The experts suggested choosing the containment model for an interim period of about a month or two and then re-examining whether to stay with that model, move up to the absorption model or run an aggressive regional response to eradicate the disease.
They also recommended that the containment model be adopted in a two-step program with an interval of two weeks between the steps.
On the education system, the experts recommended that teachers who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus be allowed to teach in-person, while teachers who have not been vaccinated should remain restricted to distance learning.
The rationale provided for the difference among teachers is that "children come to classrooms out of a legal obligation, and their family members have no choice but to take risks and send them to school."
At the same time, they recommend opening kindergartens and grades 1-2 in green cities using the capsule system, as well as opening grades 11-12, with the option of in-person studies only for students who have been vaccinated.
Earlier, the National Security Agency warned that the opening of the education system could lead to a further increase in the infection rate and a re-spread of the disease.