This time last year, Israel was placed into the first of three tough lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Now, with the threat of Covid-19 receding, Israel is gradually returning to something approaching normality.
In that spirit, Israelis have been gathering for Passover – the Jewish holiday celebrating liberation from biblical slavery.
This is only possible because coronavirus infections have plummeted in the country since February, as vaccinations were rolled out.
Israel has vaccinated about half its population of nine million. It began its vaccination campaign last December and is the leading nation globally for the number of doses per head of population.
As a result, authorities have allowed restaurants, hotels, museums and theatres to reopen, while relaxing restrictions on large gatherings, outdoors and indoors.
“So very happy that the whole family is gathering together, to celebrate with everyone together,” Sasha Shunary told Reuters news agency in a Tel Aviv market. “Last year we had it on Zoom.”
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