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Israel starts reopening as people vaccinated nears 50%

Israel reopened swathes of its economy today in what it called the start of a return to routine enabled by a Covid-19 vaccination drive that has reached almost half the population.

While shops are now open to all, access to leisure sites like gyms and theatres is limited to vaccinees or those who have recovered from the disease with presumed immunity, a so-called "Green Pass" status displayed on a special Health Ministry app.

Social distancing measures are still in force. Dancing is barred at banquet halls, and synagogues, mosques or churches are required to halve their normal number of worshippers.

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