Passover under lockdown?:
'No plans for 4th lockdown - yet'

Top Israeli coronavirus official tells Arutz Sheva government that government still waiting to see effect of Purim on COVID numbers.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli health officials charged with leading the country’s COVID response have yet to begun planning a fourth lockdown, and are cautiously optimistic about the current reopening of the economy, Tomer Lotan, chief of the Magen Yisrael team, said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Lotan told Arutz Sheva that he believes the current gradual reopening of the economy is the right step for Israel now, despite the risks of an increase in the infection rate.

“This process is being done according to the plan that we put together with the government a month ago. It is based on points and safety from one stage to the next, based on indicators. We reached a very important point about a week ago in the second-stage indicators, so now it’s time to move on to the next stage.”

Turning to the Passover holiday, set to begin later this month, Lotan said that there are currently no plans to impose a lockdown during the festival, but emphasized that the restrictions or lack thereof on public activity would be dependent on infection and hospitalization rates.

“I’m asked quite often about that and I must say that one of the things I took from last year is the need to be cautious about making promises. I think that as long as the present trend of stability in the number of seriously ill patients and daily infections remains, then we’ll be able to celebrate Passover in a much better way that during last year.”

“On the other hand, you could say that the next two weeks will be very critical in determining how we answer that question. We will see in the next few days the effect of Purim, and in ten days we will see the effect of the third stage of the reopening of the economy. So the closer we get to Passover, the better we’ll be able to see where we stand.”