| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Israel relaxes into a Passover much freer of COVID closures than last year

At Passover last year, Israel was locked down and families confined to their homes by coronavirus restrictions, but this year the mood is quite different.

Ahead of the Jewish holiday celebrating freedom from biblical slavery, Israelis packed food markets to do last-minute shopping for the “seder” dinner, a traditional family gathering which last year had to be shared online for many Israelis.

Passover starts on March 27, just 2 days after the health ministry announced that half the country had received 2 shots of COVID-19 vaccine.

The world-beating rollout has helped Israel emerge from pandemic lockdowns, even as it remains mired in political deadlock following a 4th inconclusive election in 2 years.

“So very happy that the whole family is gathering together, to celebrate with everyone together,” said Sasha Shunary, 41, in a Tel Aviv market. “Last year we had it on Zoom.”

  • Reuters