Bennett: We will try to defeat COVID without lockdowns

PM says spread of Delta variant can be defeated if the public takes responsibility and cooperates, including by getting vaccinated.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett holds press conference at Ben Gurion
Naftali Bennett holds press conference at Ben Gurion

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett delivered a statement to the media Wednesday night in which he clarified that the government and the public can together defeat the coronavirus through cooperation and without imposing new lockdowns.

Bennett noted that Israel has seen over 6,400 deaths from the coronavirus and over 120 days of lockdown since the pandemic began. "Some Israeli students withered at home for over 200 days."

"The Delta variant penetrated Israel and is the source of the increase in morbidity. Many Israelis traveled to the reddest countries in the world and no one stopped it. There was a highway of viruses. Our overarching goal is to maintain public health alongside maintaining a routine of life and economy, i.e. to fight the coronavirus with a minimum of lockdowns," Bennett said.

"The easiest way is to declare a lockdown, bur we prefer a different approach. Imprisoning people at home is the last resort. There are two choices - to be indifferent and reach a lockdown, or for the public to take responsibility, and then we can win in five weeks. It depends only on us," the prime minister said,

"We want to set out with you and try to defeat the coronavirus without lockdowns. It is up to the public. The government and the public together can defeat the Delta epidemic without a lockdown, if we have all confront it with determination," the prime minister clarified.

He noted that from now on there will be tough enforcement of the mandate to wear masks indoors. "The Israel Police received an order from me from that moment on to enforce wearing masks in closed places and fines will be imposed."

Bennett added, "In the coming days we will formulate an outline for large events. I have already said - it seems that people who could have been vaccinated and did not do so - will not be able to enter places without a negative test. You have to take responsibility, make an appointment now and get vaccinated."