Strict new rules were introduced in Israel just days after it went into its second lockdown amid a surge of Covid-19 cases. Officials said the government can’t lead the country “into the abyss” by ignoring public health hazards.
Under the new rules effective from 2pm on Friday, all businesses will have to shut down unless they provide essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies. People will be banned from going more than 1km (0.6 miles) from their homes for reasons other than those approved by the authorities.
Rallies and open-air prayers will be limited to 20 people and must take place no more than 1km from one’s home. Synagogues will be closed, except for Yom Kippur prayers. Public transportation will be operating in a “reduced format.”
Tougher restrictions were announced after 6,948 more Covid-19 infections were reported on Wednesday, a new daily record. Israel currently has 51,131 active cases.
Ynet news website reported that the government has effectively declared a state of emergency, allowing police to fine protesters for not observing social distancing rules.