Coronavirus rates in Israel right now are among the highest in the world. But that didn't stop the Israeli government from lifting its strict lockdown and, yesterday, reopening most of its retail economy.
Non-essential shops, shopping centres, libraries and museums reopened to the general public after being closed for more than six weeks, despite the fact that daily cases and hospitalisation numbers remain at pretty much the same levels as when the lockdown began. The streets were packed as people tried to catch up on nearly two months' worth of shopping.
The reason – or, perhaps, the justification – for this reopening is Israel's successful vaccination programme. An astonishing 90 per cent of eligible over-50s have had at least one vaccine dose, and more than half the population now has some immunity against Covid-19.