coronavirus cabinet
coronavirus cabinetChaim Tzach/GPO

The Coronavirus Cabinet decided Thursday night to institute a full lockdown over the entire State of Israel beginning either the night of Wednesday, September 16, or the night of Friday, September 18, the first night of Rosh Hashannah. The lockdown will last for two weeks and encompass the Yom Kippur holiday as well.

Following the two-week lockdown there will be no classes for a further two weeks.

The decision will be brought to the government for final approval on Sunday.

Eight members of the Coronavirus Cabinet voted in favor of the decision, and four ministers opposed - Amir Peretz, Yisrael Katz, Yaakov Litzman and Aryeh Deri. The four are in favor of the possibility of imposing a night curfew instead of a full lockdown.

During a break from the Cabinet discussions earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a brief update to the public, saying that "Prof. Gamzu and the hospital directors came to the Corona Cabinet today and waved the red flag. They said that even though the number of severe cases in Israel is still relatively low, this could change in an instant and the hospitals will then be unable to treat them and there will be many severe cases and many deaths.

"They said that action must be taken – but we need to take action sagaciously and not recklessly; therefore, this takes many hours and, on the other hand, we must make a decision early enough so that we will all be able to get organized for the holidays, for Yom Kippur, and of course for Rosh Hashannah. I believe that a solution will be found that will stop the morbidity and allow us to emerge from the restrictions gradually and responsibly."