Health Minister Yuli Edelstein to urge holiday lockdown

Health Min. Edelstein to support closing schools in 'red' cities, lockdown over holidays. 'Schools opened despite wildly spreading virus.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) will support imposing an immediate lockdown on "red" cities with extremely high infection rates, Israel Hayom reported.

Edelstein is also expected to voice support for coronavirus czar Professor Ronni Gamzu's stance that schools in red cities should be closed.

At the Coronavirus Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday, members are expected to discuss additional restrictions for red cities, as well as the possibility of imposing a general lockdown during the upcoming holiday season. A decision on this matter is expected to be reached only next week.

On Tuesday, Edelstein said, "We made a difficult decision - to open the educational system in Israel, despite the fact that the virus is spreading wildly."

Regarding the decision not to open schools in red zones, Edelstein added that he "understands the difficulties of the parents, teachers, and children who had prepared [for schools to open]. We need to understand, the fact that the decision was made just prior to the beginning of the school year allowed us to update the list of cities appropriately."

Head of Public Health Services at the Health Ministry, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, on Wednesday morning told Galei Zahal that there is a real chance that a lockdown will be imposed over the holidays.

"We are really trying to avoid a lockdown over the holidays," she said. "If we see infection rates that we aren't managing to gain control of, then a lockdown is a tactical step."

"I hope that the plan will make it so that not every school will be closed in case of infections," she added. "There will be an organized policy regarding how we close schools and who we quarantine."