Israel imposes new weekend lockdown to fight coronavirus

PM Netanyahu convened the Cabinet last night to discuss and decide on interim steps to prevent a general lockdown in light of the sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

The Cabinet decided on the following restrictions, which take effect at 17:00 today, Friday as per the above.

  • Closure of gyms and studios for exercise or dance, except for use by competitive athletes, as defined in the order.

  • Restaurants and eateries – takeaway and delivery only, no on-site seating.

  • Restaurants and eateries in hotels – The number of people present will be limited to 35% of the maximum number allowed in order to permit the continued operation of the hotel.

Weekend restrictions (to take effect from 17:00 on Fridays until 05:00 on Sunday)

  • There will be no restriction on leaving one’s home.

  • During the weekend, being on beaches shall be prohibited (except for this weekend, 17-18 July, when beaches shall remain open).

  • During the weekend, stores, malls, open-air markets, hair salons/barbershops, beauty parlors, libraries, petting zoos, museums and display spaces, pools, tourist attractions and cable cars shall be closed.

This restriction shall not apply to stores providing essential services: Places for the sale of food, pharmacies and stores most businesses of which is the sale of hygiene products, opticians and labs for the repair of communications devices.

This restriction shall not apply to swimming pools at hotels that are designated for hotel guests only in order to allow hotels to provide the main ancillary services to their guests, during weekends as well).

In addition to the Cabinet decision and pursuant to the policy of reducing gatherings, the following actions were agreed on:

  1. The Health Ministry Director-General will sign an order prohibiting gatherings that will allow up to 10 people to meet in closed areas and up to 20 people in open areas (except places of work and nuclear families). This will take effect at 17:00 today.

  2. The Cabinet authorized the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister / Alternate Prime Minister – following consultation with the ministers of Finance, Health and Education – to decide regarding restrictions on the education system. The decisions, upon being made, will be issued to the public.

  3. Reduction of reception at government ministries – transition to online services (subject to legislative changes where appropriate).

  4. Government ministries: Reduction to 50% presence in ministries – responsibility of the Civil Service Commissioner and the Finance Ministry Wages Director.

  5. Closure of dining rooms at places of work – takeaway service only.

Violation of any of the above restrictions shall constitute a criminal offense.