Israel Begins Third Lockdown

Israel began its third lockdown at 5pm on Sunday as coronavirus infections continue to rise. It is planned to last for two weeks but may be extended. School classes will continue as normal for grades 1-4 and 11-12, whilst other students will use distance learning.

During this lockdown, people are only allowed to travel 1,000 metres from their home, apart from some exceptional circumstances, such as being vaccinated. Public and business areas will be closed except for essential shops.

However, these latest restrictions are extremely unpopular and were only approved by the narrowest of margins on Monday when the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of Israel’s parliament approved it by 8 votes to 7.

That vote was delayed twice while the government sought to ensure it had a majority.

But more positive news emerged on Monday when Israel’s Health Ministry announced that almost 99,000 people were vaccinated on Sunday – a new record for the country. It brought the total number vaccinated to 379,000.

That lifted Israel to the top of the global rankings for the number of vaccinations per head of population, reaching 4.37 percent, slightly ahead of Bahrain but much further ahead of other countries with larger populations.

Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, praised authorities and care providers for administering the vaccine so quickly, and praised the public for their desire to be vaccinated.