Israel becomes first country in world to impose second national lockdown

Elias Hubbard
September 15, 2020

Israel was one of the first countries to go into lockdown, in March 2020, but also one of the quickest to reopen its economy after the infection rate fell to just a dozen or so cases per day.

Israel's government announced it would impose a 3-week nationwide lockdown.

He said: "Our goal is to stop the increase (in cases) and lower morbidity". He also said, "My heart is with the thousands of Jewish who come to the worship house once a year, and this time it will not happen because of the lockdown".

Meanwhile, Yaakov Litzman, a minister in Israel government has resigned to protest against the restrictions that overlap with important Jewish festivals.

Restaurants are set to be closed to on-site dining and movement will be limited to 500 metres (1,650 feet) from one's home.

Israel authorized a second general lockdown on Sunday night as coronavirus cases surge throughout the nation.

Indoor gatherings would be limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 20, meaning prayers at synagogues would be severely impacted.

The restrictions may be prolonged beyond three weeks if they do not bring the desired results, Netanyahu said, adding, "These steps are a heavy price for us all". "We certainly won't be able to celebrate with our extended families", Netanyahu said.

Israel was initially successful at curbing the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has faced fierce criticism and protests for re-opening the economy too quickly this spring during the initial phase of the pandemic, said the country's hospitals "raised a red flag" that the healthcare system could be overwhelmed if infections continue to rise. Almost one-fifth of the labor force remains out of work even though most of the economy has been open for months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to reporters on Sunday before leaving for the United States to attend a signing ceremony to normalize diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Cases in May reportedly rose from five confirmed infections to more than 4,000 over the last week, according to the outlet, bringing new infections per capita close to the worst levels in the world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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