Holiday Closure:
Government approves three-week national lockdown

Lockdown to begin Friday afternoon, will last for three weeks instead of two, government decides, following hours of deliberations.

David Rosenberg ,

Lockdown imposed in Ramle
Lockdown imposed in Ramle
Yossi Aloni/Flash90

The Israeli government voted Sunday evening to impose a full nationwide lockdown, despite criticism from both inside and outside of the government.

The lockdown will being at 2:00 p.m. this Friday, and will last for three weeks.

The original proposal by the Health Ministry had called for two weeks of full lockdown, followed by a partial lockdown for two additional weeks.

During the three-week lockdown, Israelis will be required to remain within 500 meters of their homes, except when leaving for essential needs, including food and medicine purchases.

Schools, which were originally planned to close this Wednesday, will close on Friday, and remain closed for the duration of the lockdown.

Hotels will be required to close during the lockdown, and all indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 20 people.

Onsite dining at restaurants will be forbidden during the lockdown.

Three ministers, including Economy Minister Amir Peretz (Labor), Higher Education and Water Resources Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), and Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir (Blue and White) voted against the lockdown plan. Ministers Itzik Shmuli (Labor) and Ofir Akunis (Likud) abstained.

Earlier on Sunday, Construction and Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) resigned from the government in protest of the planned lockdown.