Netanyahu: We must not reopen Israel too fast

Prime Minister insists on 'gradual, responsible' exit from lockdown, pushes for harsher fines for Israelis who violate restrictions.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against ending the ongoing partial lockdown too quickly, insisting that restrictions must be removed incrementally, over a long period of time.

Speaking at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, Netanyahu said the increase in the number of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases in some European countries had vindicated his government’s lockdown policies, touting the second lockdown while warning against reopening too quickly.

"The world is being inundated with a powerful wave and we see this in Europe; it is heart-rending. There are very sharp increases there.”

“I know that the leaders there, several of whom I speak with, are agonizing over the questions of what decisions to make. Many now understand that the decisions we made in the Corona Cabinet and the government were correct decisions.”

“They led to a significant reduction and a dramatic decline in the scope of morbidity in Israel. However, for this to hold, we must stick to a gradual and responsible exit and not open up too fast, and I know how difficult this is.”

Netanyahu also called for the government to back sharp increases in the fines issues to those found to be violating the lockdown restrictions.

“I am familiar with the difficulties faced by businesses, the self-employed and families and parents. Therefore, I first ask for your continued cooperation, which has led to this result.”

“Beyond this, I also request that the Cabinet directives be honored, not just masks and distancing, but honoring the Cabinet directives. Today, we will submit to the Cabinet increased fines so that everyone, without exception, across Israeli society, honors the agreements. This is not aimed at anyone in particular – it is aimed at the virus. It is aimed on behalf of the health of us all.”

“Regarding studies and commerce, yesterday we held an advance discussion by ministers on the possibility of opening the academic year on 1 November.”

“It could be that it will partially open for first and second grades, and we will also discuss the partial opening of commerce, again, gradually and responsibly, and of course this all depends on the level of morbidity. If morbidity goes down, then the restrictions will also gradually come down. If morbidity goes up, there will be no choice but to reimpose the restrictions.”

“I say this because everyone understands that this is necessary, because otherwise we would have tragic results, which we are currently seeing in other countries, in Europe, as I told you would happen. We are starting to exit the lockdown restrictions before them, and they will apparently enter into many restrictions after us. But we want to exit successfully."

"Our biological institute is advancing to the stage of vaccine trials. I wish our scientists success. At the same time, I am working to bring vaccines from abroad, because we need to allow ourselves to be ready for progress on the issue of vaccines, which in the end is the way to delimit the disease and take control of it, as happened with other pandemics."