Israel to start easing coronavirus restrictions, including on holy sites

Credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD

Israel on Friday said it would begin easing a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown after a steady decline in the rate of daily infections, and would examine how best to reopen holy sites in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Israel on Friday said it would begin easing a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown after a steady decline in the rate of daily infections, and would examine how best to reopen holy sites in Jerusalem.

Much of the economy will remain closed, but starting on Sunday businesses that do not offer customer service, nursery schools and kindergarten, as well as national parks and beaches will reopen, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

The Health Ministry and other authorities will also start drafting new guidelines to open popular holy sites in Jerusalem's old city, including the Church of the Sepulchre, the Western Wall, and the compound revered as the Temple Mount by Jews and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

((ari.rabinovitch@thomsonreuters.com; +972-2-632-2202; Reuters Messaging: ari.rabinovitch@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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