Closure in Israel tightens Wednesday evening
26 March 2020 - globes
People will only be allowed to exercise 100 meters from their homes, synagogues will be closed and public transport cut to 25%.
New, tighter lockdown restrictions approved by the cabinet last night to combat the accelerating spread of Covid-19 come into effect this evening at 5pm for the next seven days.
The main change is that people will only be allowed to move around outside within 100 meters of their home. Another controversial change is that all synagogues will be closed with only outside prayer assemblies allowed providing people remain two meters from each other.
People will only be allowed to leave home to go to work or to buy food, household goods and other essentials as well as medication or for medical treatment and to donate blood. Public transport will be cut by 25% and only one person will be allowed to travel in a taxi, and only in the back seat with the window open. Other reasons for leaving home are to attend a demonstration, legal proceedings, go to the Knesset, or to tend to the elderly and infirm.
Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman was vehemently opposed to the closing of synagogues but was overruled. Before the cabinet agreed the new raft of restrictions, there were major disagreements between Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance officials, with the former wanting even more rigorous restrictions and the latter trying to protect aspects of economic activity.
Violating these restrictions is a criminal offence and Israel Police will enforce the conditions of the closure with fines for violations.