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Netanyahu: ‘Israel is one step away from full lockdown’

As the number of coronavirus cases approaches 1,000 in one day, the Government reimpose major restrictions on movement; Yeshivas and synagogues, to remain open under threats from Haredi parties to quit the government

As the number of coronavirus cases averages nearly 1,000 diagnoses in the last 24 hours, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday convened the coronavirus cabinet to approve the outline presented by the Health Ministry.

Netanyahu warned that the spread of the virus could force the government to return the country to a full lockdown. “We’re one step away from a full lockdown,” he said.

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The cabinet voted to once again close events halls, night clubs, bars, and gyms. Beaches and Ultra-Orthodox educational facilities for males (yeshiva) will remain open. Synagogues to limit to 19 the number of worshippers.

The reopening of cultural events and performances has now been halted with immediate effect, while restaurants and cafes remain open, with restriction of up to 20 diners inside the premises and another 30 in open-air spaces.

The government also agreed to limit the number of passengers in public transport, with up to 20 people on busses with not the use of air conditioners.

Public swimming pools and pools at hotels will also be closed with immediate effect.  Also, all social gatherings are allowed for up to 20 participants.

“if  ‘dramatic’ restrictions on movement are not imposed soon, in two weeks’ time the number of sick people will be so high that another nationwide lockdown would be inevitable,” said Prof. Eli Waxman, the head of the team of experts that’s advising the National Security Council on Sunday. “Wherever there are gatherings there is danger,” he said while advised to close public parks and beaches.

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