Israel to impose full nationwide lockdown

Israel’s Corona Cabinet has decided to impose a full nationwide lockdown starting next week in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 morbidity, a joint statement said.

The statement issued on Thursday night by the Prime Minister’s Office and Health Ministry said the start date of the closure will be decided by the government on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

It will be the first stage in a three-stage plan aimed to lower the morbidity data.

The closure is supposed to include the upcoming period of Jewish holidays, between the Jewish New Year’s Eve on September 18 and October 10.

According to the statement, the second and third stages will take effect only after the morbidity rate decreases.

The closure will include a 500-metre distance limit from houses, and the closure of schools, kindergartens, restaurants, hotels, culture and entertainment places, and shops, except for supermarkets and pharmacies.

Also, many workplaces will be closed, or will operate partially with work from home as much as possible.

The second phase will include a ban on travelling between cities, as well as limitations on gatherings, while the education system and most businesses will remain closed.

In the third stage, the “traffic light” plan will take effect again, as each city and town will be classified as red, orange, yellow or green according to morbidity levels, and separate restrictions will be imposed accordingly.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Israel surged to 145,526, with 4,429 new infections reported on Thursday, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak began in February, breaking the previous record of 3,590 cases registered on Tuesday.

The daily fatalities from the coronavirus also set a new record with 23 new deaths, which raised the overall toll to 1,077.

The number of recoveries reached 109,942, with 1,588 new recoveries, while active cases currently stand at 34,505.