Coronavirus: Israel to shut down on weekends due to COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus: Israel to shut down on weekends due to COVID-19 surge

Israel announced sweeping new restrictions on Friday in response to a new surge in coronavirus cases, including weekend closures of many businesses and limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery.

The government announced the restrictions after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “interim steps” were needed to avoid another general lockdown. Netanyahu has faced widespread criticism and protests in recent days over his government’s handling of the pandemic and the economic fallout from an earlier lockdown.

Gyms and exercise studios will be closed except for use by competitive athletes. Restaurants will no longer be allowed to have on-site seating and beaches will be closed on weekends beginning later this month.

Stores, malls, barber shops, beauty salons and tourist sites will also be closed on weekends. Public gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors or 20 outside. The Cabinet approved the new measures pending approval by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, but said they would take effect Friday evening with violations considered a criminal offense.

By late May, Israel had largely contained its outbreak following a two-month lockdown. But cases have soared in the weeks since restrictions were lifted, with Israel reporting around 1,900 new cases on Thursday alone. At least 384 people have died since the outbreak began, out of a total of more than 45,000 cases.

Related Articles

Back to top button