Netanyahu declares new lockdown restrictions until day after Passover

Addressing the nation live on Monday, the prime minister reinstated nationwide travel restrictions that will last through Thursday, the day after Passover.

By World Israel News Staff

On Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation on live television to lay out new rules that will be in place until the day after Passover, a day on which Israelis normally gather for Mimouna celebrations.

Netanyahu announced nationwide restrictions starting on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and lasting until Thursday at 5 a.m. under which Israelis will be prohibited from traveling outside of their communities. Those who live in Jerusalem will be restricted to their neighborhoods.

The prime minister also announced that bakeries will not reopen on Thursday, the day after Passover. Traditionally, this is a time when Israelis flock to eateries to enjoy leavened products such as bread and pastries, items from which many refrain from eating in adherence with Jewish dietary laws during the seven-day festival.

In addition to announcing the new restrictions, Netanyahu also specifically addressed coronavirus’ impact on nursing homes, which have been hit particularly hard by the virus. The prime minister said that Israel is focusing particular attention on these facilities, where 40 Israelis have died from the virus, a number Netanyahu said was “small” in comparison with other nations.

Israel has over 11,000 cases of coronavirus and has suffered and 115 deaths dead, but has been lauded internationally for its response to the pandemic, a fact Netanyahu mentioned on Monday.

While Netanyahu referenced ramping down general restrictions on movement, he also cautioned that the virus could return, warning that without a vaccine the coronavirus “reality” remains the same. He added, however, that the cabinet will strategize at the end of the week potential ways in which Israelis can return to their routines.

As a final matter, Netanyahu mentioned ongoing efforts to forge a unity government with his political rival Benny Gantz, whose mandate to form a unity government expires at midnight on Monday.