Full nationwide lockdown takes effect in Israel to contain COVID-19

Makeshift Hospital
Photo taken on Aug. 1, 2020 shows the interior of a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients at the AsiaWorld-Expo, a venue near the Hong Kong International Airport, in south China's Hong Kong. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)

A full nationwide lockdown, aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus, took effect in Israel on Friday at 2 p.m. local time.

On Friday morning, just a few hours before the closure, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Health announced in a joint statement a change in the distance limit for people to travel from home.

According to the statement, Israel’s Corona Cabinet approved, during a conference call, to restrict people from traveling for over 1 km from home, instead of 500 meters as previously planned.

The lockdown will last at least for three weeks, and during that period of time four Jewish holidays, including the Jewish New Year, will be observed.

It will also include a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people in open spaces and more than 10 people indoors.

The lockdown also includes the closure of most shops, and all places of culture, entertainment, leisure and tourism.
Some workplaces will work in a partial format, with many employees working from home.

However, Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport remained open under restrictions, when only flights that have already been approved will be operated.

Schools and kindergartens in Israel were already closed on Thursday, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

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