Israel's cabinet last night decided to impose a full lockdown from tomorrow at 2pm until after the Simchat Torah holiday on October 10.
The tightened lockdown will require all businesses and the public sector to close except essential services such as food and pharmacy outlets. Synagogues will close and prayers and demonstrations will be limited to 20 people outdoors, less than 1,000 meters from the participant's home. However, synagogues will be allowed to open for Yom Kippur prayers on Sunday night and Monday.
The final decision on the matter was apparently taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in consultation with an inner cabinet of ministers. Minister of Economy and Industry Amir Peretz revealed that he opposed the new stringent measures. He said, "The coronavirus cabinet did not make this decision. It was the decision of a team of ministers with whom Netanyahu spoke. Not the coronavirus cabinet."
Netanyahu did reportedly speak by phone with Minister of Defense Benny Gantz who was en route to Israel from the US following talks in Washington. Gantz supported a very strict lockdown during the holiday period when economic activity is anyway normally relatively low.
Israel Police will be given reinforcements and extra resources to enforce the lockdown and the elderly will be granted some assistance.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 24, 2020
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