Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on 13 September that a countrywide lockdown would begin on 18 September and last for at least three weeks.
At the press conference, Netanyahu said that the restrictions would include a ban on traveling more than 500 meters from one’s residence. Schools are closed, but at least some public-sector businesses remain open, subject to unspecified restrictions. All essential services and stores, such as grocery shops and pharmacies, remain open as usual. Ben-Gurion International Airport remains open.
As for synagogue-attendance guidelines during the lockdown, prayers in ‘capsules’ of up to 20 people outdoors and 10 people indoors are permitted. The number of groups allowed inside a building (a synagogue or other structure used as one) are determined by the number of entrances to that building.
Netanyahu said he was aware of the “high price” that the public would be paying and vowed that those hurt financially by the lockdown would be compensated.
According to Health Ministry data, as of 14 September there were 156 823 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel, among those 40 561 active; 529 patients were in serious condition and 214 in moderate condition; 135 on ventilators; and a national death toll of 1126.
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