Israel will go into a new national lockdown for three weeks, as of Friday, September 18, due to a surge in confirmed Covid-19 cases.
In a televised message on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new confirmed coronavirus cases had reached 4,000 daily.
Schools and tourism-related businesses will shut down, while Israelis will face movement restrictions.
The measures, to be put into effect on Friday, from 2pm, and until October 11, will be subject to an assessment of the morbidity situation and approval by the cabinet two weeks after the start of the lockdown.
This the second time Israel goes into a lockdown, after a nationwide shutdown in the spring. The measure will prevent Jewish people from celebrating their religious festivals, including Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, on 27 September.
According to the measures undertaken:
- Businesses that do not receive the public and provide essential services may continue operating according to the outline to be presented by the Finance Ministry. Furthermore, the Ministry will submit for approval regulations regarding the restriction and reduction of presence at places of work in the public and private sectors,
- All businesses that receive the public in the fields of commerce, culture, recreation and domestic tourism, including swimming pools, will close,
- Businesses, including restaurants, shall be permitted to operate delivery services only,
- Movement in leaving one’s home shall be restricted to 500 meters, except for essential needs to be detailed in the regulations,
- Closure of the education system, except for special education, boarding schools and additional exceptions as detailed in the legislation regarding special authority in dealing with the coronavirus. Remote learning will be enabled as much as possible,
- Restriction of gatherings according to the color red in the “traffic light” model – up to 10 people in a closed space and up to 20 in an open area.
Regarding air travel, a team headed by the Health Minister or his representative are expected to issue their recommendation on the issue by Monday evening.
According to media reports, Israel has so far seen over 150,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1,100 deaths.