Tel Aviv residents returned to shopping malls and markets on Friday, as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted across Israel.

Markets appeared bustling as masked customers bought fresh fruits and vegetables and retail stores were open to the public.

Security personnel were seen measuring temperatures before any customer could enter the spaces.

"I feel we were born again, I feel great, the market is our life. Wake up!" said Ovadia, a cheerful merchant at the Carmel Market.

The feeling of optimism, hope, and relief were common sentiments throughout the city.

"It's fun to be here, I was not afraid to come. We need our freedom, we are keeping ourselves safe, and we hope everything will be fine and that we can even go back to travel abroad," said Granit, a shopper at the Dizengoff Mall.

"I'm so happy and there is nothing to be afraid of, keep two metres away and listen to the orders and that's it. We don't need a second wave coming, and then we will be stuck again in our houses. Just listen to the orders and we will be just fine," said Yossi, another Carmel merchant.

Restaurants in the city remain closed, but there are plans to open them at a lower than normal capacity on May 15.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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