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Israeli gov't to vote on 4-stage proposal to reopen retail malls, parks

Israelis wear mandatory face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic while they shop in Jerusalem, Israel, on Friday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
Israelis wear mandatory face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic while they shop in Jerusalem, Israel, on Friday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- The Israeli government will vote Monday whether to allow shopping centers, libraries, gyms, water sports and non-medical treatment facilities to reopen as active coronavirus cases decline.

Lawmakers will vote on a proposal that all malls, national parks, single-room vacation cabins and hotels with direct-access rooms should be allowed to reopen Tuesday.

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Some specific businesses have already been allowed to reopen across Israel, but none that attract sizable crowds like malls and large retail districts.

The four-stage proposal calls for markets, gyms, museums and sporting events without crowds to open May 17. Restaurants and event venues would reopen May 31 and schools are expected to reopen next week.

Police in Israel have said many residents have ignored social distancing and face covering rules, including some at beaches in Tel Aviv and Herzliya. Others crowded outdoor spaces and markets.

An Israeli ban is still active that prohibits residents from traveling more than 328 feet away from their homes for non-permitted activities.

Authorities say they gave about 55,000 citations last week for violations and about 150 businesses have been shut down for violating rules.

Israel has had more than 16,000 cases and more than 200 deaths due to the outbreak.

Scenes from a pandemic: World copes with COVID-19

A health worker with the Israeli national emergency service, Magen David Adam, wears protective gear while taking swabs to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing center in East Jerusalem on August 26. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

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