The coronavirus cabinet approved late Sunday night in a telephone survey updates to the traffic light program that will allow kindergartens and schools to reopen in several cities across the country starting Monday morning.
However, due to the late hour in which the decision was reached, several cities have announced that they will not be prepared to open so soon and will instead reopen kindergartens and schools on Tuesday.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced that the index for designating cities green, orange or red will be re-examined twice a week instead of only once a week in order to allow more students to return to school as soon as possible.
According to the updated guidelines, the following cities have been designated yellow and will reopen their kindergartens and schools on either Monday or Tuesday: Modi'in Maccabim Reut, Giv'at Shmuel, Kiryat Yam, Sakhnin, Ariel and Kiryat Bialik and Haifa.
The following cities have been designated light orange and will also reopen their schools and kindergartens: Eilat, Gush Etzion, Gan Yavne, Ganei Tikva, Yokneam Illit, Kfar Yona, Mevaseret Zion, Ma'ale Adumim, Nahariya, Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Rehovot, Ramat Gan, Yakir, Mevo Horon, Peduel and Sde Nehemya.
In Jerusalem, Kindergartens and schools for grades 1-4 in several neighborhoods will reopen on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Municipality announced after receiving the approval from the coronavirus cabinet and Health Ministry.
The decision will apply on the following neighborhoods in Jerusalem: Talpiot, Armon Hanatziv, Gonenim, Rasko, Givat Havradim, Baka, Arnona and Mekor Haim, in addition to the neighborhoods where kindergartens and grades 1-4 have already resumed in-person learning.
Grades 5-12 will continue learning from home and in designated learning groups in open spaces of up to 9 students, the announcement stated.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion congratulated the step that will allow "the return of thousands of students in Jerusalem to school" and called on Jerusalem's residents to go get vaccinated. "That is the only way we can advance the return to normal life," he said.
Preschoolers, kindergarten children and pupils in grades 1-4 in yellow and green areas returned to school on Thursday last week. Children in light orange areas, according to the Health Ministry’s traffic light rating, that have at least 70% of their community vaccinated are also allowed to go back to school.
With the updated traffic light program, more cities will gradually be reopening their education systems as the country takes its first step towards returning to normal. Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.