Police enforce COVID lockdown in Bnei Brak
Police enforce COVID lockdown in Bnei BrakTomer Neuberg/Flash90

Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope) warned the government may impose a new lockdown in the coming weeks if COVID infection rates remain high.

Speaking with Radio 103FM Wednesday morning, Elkin said the government may have no choice but to impose a lockdown, while urging Israelis over 60 to get a third dose of the COVID vaccine, saying mass vaccinations could cut the number of serious infections and thus allow Israel to avoid a fourth lockdown.

Elkin went on to say that a lockdown could be needed within a week.

“If we have no choice, then it is proper to impose a lockdown already next week.”

“Most of the seriously ill people are sixty and older. If people get vaccinated, it will increase the chance that we can prevent the next lockdown.”

Turning to the enforcement of COVID restrictions and the ‘green pass’ system – which limits entry to public venues to the vaccinated or recovered patients – Elkin said the government would take a firmer approach vis-à-vis the haredi community.

“This time we won’t give any ‘discounts’ the haredim; we’ll enforce the coronavirus [restrictions] and the vaccines.”

When asked whether the same enforcement mechanisms would be used for the Arab community, Elkin demurred, saying the situation is “complicated”.

“The situation in the Arab sector is complicated, and there are real difficulties there. We need to act wisely.”