Israel Faces Another Lockdown

After lengthy discussions yesterday, Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet agreed it is necessary to reintroduce a nationwide lockdown for two weeks, starting on 18th September.

The dramatic recent surge in infections – reaching a new daily record of 4,013 on Wednesday – prompted the Cabinet to consider Prof Ronni Gamzu’s proposal to impose a six-week national lockdown during the forthcoming Jewish holidays.

i24 News report on coronavirus debatei24 News report on coronavirus debate

Benjamin Netanyahu supported implementing a comprehensive lockdown, while seven other ministers objected to the idea. It would clearly deliver another significant blow to the economy.

The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Centre has calculated that it will take 90 days to bring infections back down to 400 cases a day. Its report showed the daily change in infections had increased from around 4 percent to 6 percent over the last week. If it reaches 10%, that would represent a doubling of infections every week.

Yet to be confirmed by Israel’s government, the first stage of the lockdown will run from 18th September to 1st October, restricting people to within 500 meters from their homes, closing education institutions and shutting the public and private sectors, except for essential services and working from home.

The second stage would then run from 2nd to 15th October, restricting movement between cities, limiting gatherings by zone, keeping education institutions closed, but partially reopening the public and private sectors