Schools to remain open until Friday ahead of national lockdown

Schools to remain open until Friday, rather than close Wednesday. Government expected to vote in favor of national lockdown.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Classroom (illustration)
Classroom (illustration)

Israeli schools will remain open until this Friday, the Israeli government ruled Sunday afternoon, rejecting a proposal to impose an early closure of the education system beginning this Wednesday.

The government approved the delayed closure of the school system ahead of a planned vote on the larger Health Ministry plan for a national lockdown, set to begin this Friday morning.

Despite fierce opposition from some in the government, the lockdown plan is expected to pass with majority support.

Ministers Ze’ev Elkin and Yuval Steinitz, both from the Likud, criticized the Health Ministry, as well as Coronaviruz Czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s handling of the crisis.

“Nice of you to raise the red flag now, when the hospitals are starting to be jammed full. You should have raised that flag a month or two ago,” said Steinitz.

Steinitz has been a vocal supporter of a national lockdown for months, warning of tens of thousands of coronavirus-related fatalities if a lockdown is not imposed.

Minister Elkin slammed Gamzu for “zigzagging” on his policies.

“You’re zigzagging all of the time. From the ‘traffic light’ plan two weeks ago to the full lockdown plan today. The ‘experts’ are constantly changing their recommendations without any clear perimeters. Even now, they haven’t given us any clear criteria for when we’ll end the lockdown and move on to the second stage.”

The plan, as it currently stands, would impose a two-week nationwide lockdown beginning this Friday morning. During the lockdown, residents will be barred from walking more than 500 meters from their homes. Essential needs, such as food and medicine purchases, will be permitted.

A partial two-week lockdown will follow the first stage of the plan. During the second stage, Israelis will be barred from leaving their neighborhoods or towns of residence.