In a televised announcement this evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the suspension of activity of all leisure businesses, in an attempt to halt te spread of the coronavirus Covid-19.
In addition, kindergartens and daycare centers will be closed from tomorrow, and gatherings of more than ten people will be forbidden.
The full directives are as follows:
- All places of entertainment will be closed, including shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants.
- Schools, kindergartens and daycare centers will be closed from tomorrow morning.
- No more than ten people in a closed space.
- Workplaces can carry on as normal, at the discretion of the CEO, but it is recommended to reduce activity as far as possible and to switch a many workers as possible to working from home and to reduce gatherings of people.
- Technological means of monitoring and locating people with coronavirus will be employed.
- Public transport will be restricted.
"Cultural and leisure activities will stop from tomorrow morning. This harsh, and I understand the feelings of restaurateurs, theaters and café owners," Netanyahu said. "We are discussing the question of public transport now. But anyone who does not have to go out to work, please make travel infrequent.
"First of all, we have to locate the patients. We are deploying every means at our disposal, including technological means. I have received a request from the Ministry of Health to utilize digital means used in the past in the battle against terrorism. That requires the consent of the Ministry of Justice.
"As far as food is concerned, the supermarkets have been besieged. There is no cause of that. There will be no shortage, except perhaps for temporarily empty shelves. The supermarkets will continue to function."
Netanyahu opened his remarks with praise for the way Israel had coped with the coronavirus outbreak. "We are ahead of every other country, but it must be stressed that our policy is dynamic," he said. "So far, we without any fatalities, and we are well placed in comparison with the rest of the world. The discipline of Israel's citizens has put us in a good position relative to the world.
"The disease changes, and we are learning about it all the time. In Israel we are in touch with our opposite numbers around the world and we are trying to stay ahead of the disease and to be ahead of the world. We have to progress as the event develops, to adapt on the move. Therefore, every day or two we are announcing the new decisions. The situation is not static and so we need to keep updating."
The prime minister concluded by expressing optimism. "I believe that we can not only overcome this crisis, but also vanquish the virus. This obliges all of us to switch to a new routine. We will have to adopt a new routine for a certain amount of time and to be prepared for measures that will limit the rate of spread of the disease."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 14, 2020
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