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Hong Kong to ease social distancing measures from Thursday 

People enjoy themselves on a reopened beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, on February 13, 2021. Xinhua/Muammar Awad via Getty Images

The Israeli Cabinet has approved a further loosening of the restrictions on economic activity as coronavirus infection rates continue its gradual downward trend.

From Sunday, shopping malls, markets, museums, and libraries will re-open to everyone. But Israelis will need to show proof they have been vaccinated, or have recovered from the disease, to gain access to gyms, sports, cultural venues and hotels, all of which have also received permission to re-open.

Schools will also be allowed to welcome back more students.

The number of new cases of Covid-19 stood at 5,138 on Monday — by comparison, the figure two weeks ago stood at 8,909.

Israel has been making rapid progress in its vaccination program and is on track to be the first country in the world to inoculate its entire population, of about 9 million people.

Health Ministry data suggests more than 4 million people in Israel will have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of Tuesday, with more than 2.6 million people having received a second dose as well.

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