Israel’s new coronavirus restrictions go into effect

The Cabinet, last night, approved emergency regulations to limit activity in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Israel. The regulations include a further limiting of going out into the public sphere, the placing of responsibility on employers, the closure of non-essential shops and the imposition of restrictions on public transportation.

The regulations will take effect at 17:00 today (Wednesday, 25 March 2020), for a period of seven days.

According to the new emergency regulations, it will not be permitted to leave one’s place of residence or regular domicile and go into the public sphere except or one of the following actions or objectives:

• An employee going to permitted work, according to the regulations
• Purchasing food, medicines, essential products and receiving essential services
• Receiving medical treatment
• Donating blood
• Legal proceedings
• Demonstrations
• Going to the Knesset
• Receiving treatment by social services
• An individual or people who live in the same residence may leave said residence for a short time but may not venture more than 100 meters from the said residence.
• Providing medical assistance to a person in distress or who needs assistance
• Prayer in an open space, funerals, weddings or circumcisions and women going to immerse in a mikveh provided her arrival is coordinated in advance.
• Taking a minor to a designated educational framework (as per health regulations) for the children of essential workers
• Transferring a minor, whose parents live apart, by one parent to the home of the other parent
• Transferring a minor, when the parent responsible for him or her must attend to an essential need and when there is no one at the place of residence to assume responsibility for the minor

It was also decided to reduce public transportation to 25% of what currently prevails, as per the directives of the Ministry of Health.

Taxi services will be permitted for one passenger only or an additional accompanying person for medical treatment. Passengers will sit in the back; the windows of the vehicle shall be open.

The regulations stipulate that in the public sphere and in workplaces, a distance of at least two meters shall be maintained between individuals. Essential travel in private vehicles shall be limited to two passengers. Transportation to places of work shall be permitted subject to the limitations.

It is further determined that employers shall be responsible for taking temperatures at the entrance to the workplace. Anyone whose body temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or higher shall not be allowed to enter.

Food and newspaper delivery services shall be allowed to operate as will be essential services for home maintenance, electronic goods, communications services and medical devices. Online sales with home delivery is permitted for all types of products. Delivery personnel shall place the delivered items outside the door of the residence.

Businesses that sell food for consumption outside the premises where it is prepared and which is sent by delivery service only, pharmacies, optometrists or any shop the main occupation of which is the sale of hygiene products, will operate while maintaining a distance of two meters between individuals and preventing crowding. At no time will there be more than four customers per active cashier in the shop.

It is determined that violating the prohibitions will constitute a criminal offense; violators shall be subject to administrative fine. The regulations provide the police with the authority to enforce these instructions.

The final wording of the emergency regulations shall be published forthwith upon the completion of the necessary corrections by the relevant professional authorities.

In addition to the above, it will be underscored that there is a mutual need to adhere to the rules in order to defeat the spread of the virus. Individuals aged 60 and over, especially the elderly and at-risk groups, must remain at home and avoid risking themselves by going out.