The decision comes after the country has seen daily infections of more than 3,000 cases on Tuesday. A 5.7% positivity rate.
The lockdown will last for two weeks but will be extended for an additional two weeks unless the number of new cases per day falls below 1,000.
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According to the government statement, the public prohibited to be in the residence of another person; restricted from traveling more than one km from home. Trade and entertainment venues will be closed; restaurants will only be able to provide food deliveries; businesses that do not receive the public will be able to operate at 50% capacity; public transport will operate at 50% of the usual schedule, and social gatherings will be restricted to 20 people in an open-air location and 10 people indoors.
This time, unlike the previous lockdowns, schools will remain partially open to students, with kindergartens, grades 1-4 and 11-12 attending classes in person from 8 am to 1 pm while special ed classes will continue unchanged. Parents will be able to leave their children at school between 7 am and 2 pm.
The transfer of children between two parents who do not live together will also continue uninterrupted.
Individual exercise to be permitted without restrictions on distance (going out and returning home, without the use of a vehicle.
Coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash said earlier Wednesday that a third, nationwide lockdown was “inevitable.”
Ash said the country would have another 3,000 dead from COVID-19 in the next two months if the government did not implement tough health measures as soon as possible.
“There is no escape from the third lockdown,” Ash said. “If the government had acted in accordance with our recommendations two weeks ago, it could have been avoided.”
He added that the infection rate had risen significantly, including serious cases, and would skyrocket further in the coming weeks if the government continues with its “sit and do nothing” policy. “So far, our forecasts have been accurate, let’s not endanger public health. Help us reduce the infection,” Prof. Ash said.