As a result of the rising number of corona infections, a lockdown regime will again come into effect in Israel from Friday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this on Sunday. The lockdown coincides with a three-week Jewish holiday period.
After hours of heated debate, Netanyahu’s government approved the proposal on Sunday. The lockdown measures will take effect Friday, just before the Jewish New Year on September 19, and will last until October 9.
“Now is the time to act,” Netanyahu said. “I ask Israeli citizens to accept this.” Israel went into lockdown for the first time in mid-March. The country becomes the first developed economy in the world to take such drastic measures again to stop the second wave.
Israel, like other countries, is facing a second wave of infections. The number of infections per day passed the 4,000 mark this week. That is the first time since the corona virus reached the country in February.
Government advocates feared that family celebrations for the Jewish New Year, the Yom Kippur prayer services on September 27, and the many gatherings during the Feast of Tabernacles would further spread the virus.
Yaakov Litzman, a minister of an ultra-Orthodox coalition partner, resigned earlier in the day out of dissatisfaction that the faithful would not be able to pray in the synagogues on Yom Kippur without restrictions.
Under the new regime, up to 20 people may gather in free air. In-room gatherings of up to ten people are allowed.