UPDATED 7:31 AM PT – Monday, September 14, 2020
Israel’s government agreed to a three week lockdown just ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. The decision was made Sunday, restricting citizens to a one-third mile radius around their residences.
Israel is now the first country to reimpose coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Supermarkets and pharmacies will stay open as well as government jobs with fewer staff, but non-government businesses will be required to close.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said warnings by health officials led to the decision.
“I know those measures will exact a heavy price on us all…this is not the kind of holiday we are used to and we certainly won’t be able to celebrate with our extended families,” he stated. “And there will also be those affected by the lockdown such as business owners and others.”
Immediately upon arriving in Washington, PM Netanyahu held a conference call consultation on preparations for the lockdown with Health Min. Edelstein, Deputy Health Min. Kisch, NSC head Ben Shabbat, ‘Magen Yisrael’ director Prof. Gamzu, Health Ministry DG Prof. Levy and others. pic.twitter.com/tFHS8ulBNk
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 14, 2020
The lockdown is slated to begin Friday afternoon ahead of the Jewish New Year, which begins in the evening hours. Netanyahu said he’s instructed his finance minister to come up with a new economic package to help businesses hurt by the lockdown.