The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is preparing to open up additional bars, restaurants and cafes next week as Israel continues to relax shelter-in-place regulations on the wider public in the hopes to reinvigorate the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.The municipality has been working with many of these businesses to fully utilize public spaces in order to better adhere to social distancing rules. They announced their intentions earlier week to convert 11 popular streets into pedestrian zones shut to vehicles, seeking to encourage local trade and make the city more pedestrian-friendly. During the next month, segments of Ashtori Hafarhi Street, Nahalat Binyamin, HaArba’a Street, Florentin Street, HaAliya HaShniya Street, Daniel Street, Aluf Batslut Street, Najara Street, Simtat Beit HaBad (evening and overnight only), Yossi Ben Yossi Street and Sgula Street (in Jaffa) will be converted into pedestrian areas.Chairs and street furniture will be rolled out on some of the newly-pedestrianized streets, which will join the municipality’s existing car-free zones on Sheinkin Street which will be shut to vehicles for extended hours on Fridays, and on Levinsky Street, which will soon be restricted to pedestrians and cyclists at all times.To facilitate the initiative, modifications will be made to on-street loading zones, cars will not be permitted to park outside stores, and restaurants and food stalls will be allowed to place tables and chairs outside in accordance with municipal regulations.So far, they have approved the opening of 115 establishments - six of those businesses will take advantage of the municipality's olive branch and use fenced off public parking spaces to more safely seat their guests in.The municipality approval is only the first step in reopening, however, these bars, restaurants and cafes will also need to obtain Health Ministry confirmation stating that they are safe to open before moving forward in the process.“We will continue to fight for the 70,000 workers from the restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs sector in Tel Aviv. These businesses are the beating heart of the urban economy and I have instructed the municipal executives to turn every stone to find ways to put them again on their feet,” Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai said in a press statement.Earlier in the month, in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers, Huldai presented a detailed plan developed by the Israel Restaurants Association to reopen the sector.Huldai also called on the government to assist many young workers whose continued eligibility for unemployment benefits is set to expire in the coming days and weeks.At the heart of the plan is a long list of health and hygiene-related standards, including: deep cleaning of all front and back of house facilities; at least two meters between all tables; cleaning all tables and chairs between customer departures and arrivals; hand sanitizer at the entrance and on every table; disposable menus; measuring employee temperature before every shift; and protective equipment for every worker.On Wednesday, the government approved the opening of bars, restaurants, cafes, beaches, in addition to relaxed restrictions on public transportation. On Thursday, newly appointed Health Minister Yuli Edelstein approved gatherings of up to 50 people in indoor settings.As of Thursday, at press time, there were 2,680 active cases of coronavirus, including 36 people on ventilators. Some 279 people have died.Eytan Halon and Mayaan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.