Israel's cabinet last night approved a third lockdown starting on Sunday evening at 5pm. The decision comes as new infections continue to rise sharply with 3,805 new cases found on Tuesday, the biggest number since early October and up over 30% week-on-week from 2,891 the previous Tuesday. The lockdown will last for two weeks and will be extended by a further two weeks if the R number has not fallen below 1.
In contrast to the previous two lockdowns, the education system will continue to partially operate. Senior ministers accepted Minister of Education Yoav Gallant's proposal that kindergartens and pre-school frameworks, first to fourth grade and 11th and 12th grade continue to operate between 8am and 1pm. Other grades will learn remotely from home.
As in the second lockdown, people will be restricted on movements of more than 1,000 meters from their home, except for essential shopping and individual sports activity, and cannot visit other people's homes. No more than 10 people can gather in any indoor space and 20 in an outdoor area.
All non-essential stores will close but businesses that do not receive the public can remain open at 50% capacity. Restaurants and cafes can only provide delivery services and public transport will work at 50% capacity. Hotels in the 'green islands' of Eilat and the Dead Sea will close on Sunday.
Meanwhile Israel's vaccination drive has moved into full swing and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein has expressed the hope that families will be able to celebrate Pesach together in March.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 24, 2020
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