Netanyahu announces new restrictions
Netanyahu announces new restrictionsFlash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a statement on Monday, announcing significant stricter restrictions as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

He began by stating that "Although the medical examinations on this matter are not over yet, I decided to enter into a voluntary isolation to give a personal example. I held a conversation with [IDF Chief of Staff Aviv] Kochavi and the head of the National Security Council to expand the [response to] the corona crisis through the IDF and the Home Front Command. I will submit detailed plans in the next two days."

"In our war on the coronavirus, we are not saving any effort. It is better to get stricter than to ease. Many countries have followed this policy. I will join the government tonight and my guideline is stricter traffic restrictions and expansion of economic benefits," Netanyahu stated.

"It is true that the situation in Israel is better than most countries, but we strive to achieve the success of some Asian countries that have successfully reduced the infection. Therefore, I decided to bring more restrictions to the government. Most Israeli citizens listen to instructions, but there are some individuals and groups in the country who are disregarding and even disparaging the published guidelines. It's not for everyone, but the minority that doesn't listen jeopardizes itself and the majority. Those who violate the ban on crowds tread on the foundational principles of ' love your neighbor as yourself' and 'don't stand over the blood of your neighbor.' I instructed the security forces to conduct an enhanced enforcement operation in neighborhoods where there are such events that endanger us all. Security forces are starting to do that now. We will avoid extremist attacks on those who work for the public," Netanyahu added.

Netanyahu noted that from now on, crowds of more than two people and outdoor prayers will be banned. In addition, weddings will only be allowed if no guests are present.

Exceptions will be made for funerals and circumcisions. 20 people will be allowed to attend a funeral and ten at circumcisions. "All of this will take place in open spaces where people maintain social distance from each other," Netanyahu said.

Addressing the issue of Passover, Netanyahu said: "The seder this year will be remembered as a 'closed seder' and I ask that you keep it only within the nuclear family while adhering to the rules. I ask you to do one more thing - avoid family visits on the eve of the holiday. After all, the goal is not to meet people who have been elsewhere in order to avoid the spread of the disease."

The government will convene this evening via telephone conference and approve new emergency regulations that will reduce activity in the economy and impose new restrictions on movement of citizens.

Within this framework, private sector and factory activity will be reduced to only 15%.

According to the draft regulations, an employer will be able to retain 30% of its employees only if they are essential to the ongoing operation of the workplace.

It was reported by Channel 12 News that the plan will provide assistance to business owners and self-employed persons which will include compensation money, cancellation of property tax for three months and relief of electricity and water payments.

Financial aid will be provided in two stages: a grant of up to NIS 6,000 even before Passover and another NIS 6,000 next month.

Finance Ministry officials said that state grants will be given on the basis of the monthly income of the self-employed individual.

Thus, people who make between NIS 2,000 and NIS 10,000 a month will receive a grant worth 60% of their monthly income, while those who make between NIS 10,000 and NIS 16,000 will receive NIS 6,000.