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The Latest: Israel cautiously reopens after lockdown

JERUSALEM — Israel has allowed most retail shops to repen for the first time in nearly two months, in the latest phase of its exit from a second coronavirus lockdown.

Under the new rules, shops can accept up to four customers at a time, and indoor shopping malls remain closed.

Israel moved quickly last spring to contain the coronavirus, quickly sealing its borders and shutting down much of the economy. But it mismanaged the reopening of the economy, and the coronavirus quickly returned. A second lockdown was imposed in mid-September.

The country has moved more cautiously this time– gradually opening preschools and elementary schools and some offices in recent weeks. The dual lockdowns have hit small businesses especially hard.

Rina Shapira, a shopper in a Jerusalem bookshop, said the plight of businesses is heartbreaking. “Without an economy, there is also no health,” she said.