dpa/GNA – Israel has extended a three-week-old lockdown in the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister’s office and the health ministry said in a statement early Monday.

The cabinet met late Sunday and approved extending the general lockdown for an additional five days until 7 am on Friday (0500 GMT).

The cabinet is to convene on Wednesday for an additional discussion on whether it is necessary to further extend the lockdown.

The cabinet also approved extending the ban on entry to, and exit from, Israel until at midnight on Sunday. Existing exceptions still apply. This means that Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv remains shuttered.

An exceptions committee will be established that will be charged with approving requests to arrive in Israel for humanitarian and special reasons during the period in which entry to Israel is restricted.

People returning to Israel from any country in the world will be required to quarantine in designated state-sponsored hotels beginning from Tuesday and until Sunday.

Requests for exceptions will be dealt with on an individual basis by the Health Ministry at Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel, a country of 9.3 million inhabitants, has seen 4,796 Covid-19-related deaths, but has already administered the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to over 3 million of them.
Over 1.8 million have also received the second dose.

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