The Israeli cabinet today unanimously backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recommendation to extend the lockdown by 10 days until midnight on Sunday, January 31. The extension follows yesterday's record number of 10,021 new cases of Covid-19 in Israel. The Ministry of Health had wanted to extend the lockdown by at least two weeks.
The cabinet also approved new restrictions on international travel. From Saturday, January 23 Israelis returning from abroad will be required to have a valid negative Covid-19 test from 72 hours before their flight. Without the test they will not be allowed to board the flight to Israel from their point of departure.
For the time being the green passport plan allowing those with two doses of the vaccine to return home without going into isolation is likely to be put on hold until it is proven that the vaccine not only gives immunity but also prevents the vaccinated person from infecting others.
Minister of Defense Benny Gantz raised the demand that there should be more strenuous police enforcement in haredi neighborhoods, where infection rates in Israel are at their highest.
Some experts believe that despite the progress in the vaccination drive, Israel may still need a fourth lockdown in March before finally quelling the virus.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 19, 2021
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