Israel's PM announces plan to ease restrictions, revive economy


In this Saturday, March 14, 2020 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a speech from his Jerusalem office, saying Israel's restaurants and places of entertainment will be closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: AP)

JERUSALEM, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday a "cautious and gradual" plan to resume business activity and ease closure restrictions amid COVID-19.

The plan is based on principles suggested by Israel's National Security Council (NSC), according to a statement released by Israel's Prime Minister's Office.

The NSC's proposal balances between the positions of Israel's Ministries of Health, Finance, Economy and Defense.

"The prime minister has decided on a careful and gradual plan that will include a limited opening of businesses, in a controlled and measured manner," the statement said.

As part of the plan, the Ministry of Finance will prepare within 48 hours several pilot businesses to reopen, subject to the Ministry of Health's guidelines.

Some sports activities will also be possible, individually or on pairs, as far as 500 meters from home.

Schools and kindergartens will remain closed.