Israel inches toward lockdown with tough restrictions now, stay within 100 meters of home

With some exceptions, citizens will be limited to going out for necessities only, i.e. food and medicine.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s government agreed to the toughest restrictions yet to fight the corona pandemic. A nearly complete curfew will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Citizens will be limited to going out for necessities only, i.e. food and medicine.

Exceptions will be made for people traveling to prayer, funerals and certain ceremonies, like weddings. But the events must take place outside with no more than 10 people participating and they will keep a distance of two meters from each another as per earlier restrictions.

Israelis will also be allowed to go out to exercise, but no more than 100 meters from their homes.

There are still more exceptions, such as children traveling between divorced parents, court proceedings, social services, blood donations, and urgent veterinary services.

It was also decided to reduce public transportation to 25% of what currently prevails, as per the directives of the Ministry of Health.

Taxi services will be permitted for one passenger only or an additional accompanying person for medical treatment. Passengers will sit in the back; the windows of the vehicle shall be open.

The regulations stipulate that in the public sphere and in workplaces, a distance of at least two meters shall be maintained between individuals. Essential travel in private vehicles shall be limited to two passengers. Transportation to places of work shall be permitted subject to the limitations.

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It is further determined that employers shall be responsible for taking temperatures at the entrance to the workplace. Anyone whose body temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or higher shall not be allowed to enter.

In order to enforce these strictures, Israeli ministers asked during the deliberations that took place between Monday and Tuesday that stronger punishments be put in place. These would include fines and in the most severe cases, imprisonment.

The government also put a complete lockdown on public transportation. Private vehicles can only travel for necessary purposes and only with two people in the vehicle.

Transit vehicles to take people to essential work will be allowed and cabs to transport people for medical reasons (only three people will be allowed in a cab at one time).

Food and newspaper delivery services shall be allowed to operate as will be essential services for home maintenance, electronic goods, communications services and medical devices. Online sales with home delivery is permitted for all types of products. Delivery personnel shall place the delivered items outside the door of the residence.

Distance of 2 meters between individuals

Businesses that sell food for consumption outside the premises where it is prepared and which is sent by delivery service only, pharmacies, optometrists or any shop the main occupation of which is the sale of hygiene products, will operate while maintaining a distance of two meters between individuals and preventing crowding. At no time will there be more than four customers per active cashier in the shop.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also announced that remote schooling will resume after a teacher’s dispute over salaries froze instruction for a week.

“It was determined that teachers, in the entire education system, from kindergartens through 10th grade (including primary and middle schools) would receive full salaries by the end of Passover. Starting today, teachers will return to remote learning; only nine days will be returned during the summer,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Israeli officials still consider the situation under control. “We still don’t have an uncontrolled outbreak,” deputy director general of the Health Ministry, Itamar Grotto, said on Tuesday. “Indeed, we see a rise every day in the number of new cases, but part of this is explained by the increased lab testing. The epidemic is still at controlled levels.”