Prof. Hezy Levy
Prof. Hezy LevyFlash90

Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Hezy Levy laid out the general goals for the upcoming national lockdown which was approved by the government Sunday night, hinting that the lockdown could be extended beyond the initial three-week period.

Speaking with Reshet Bet Monday morning, Levy said that the Health Ministry hopes to cut the number of new coronavirus diagnoses to 1,000 per day, adding that an end to the upcoming lockdown would be contingent on meeting specific criteria.

“In order to end the lockdown in another three weeks, we want to see a reduction in the infection rate. We would want to get down to 500 infections per day, but obviously that’s not possible right now.”

“I believe that if we see the situation falling below 1,000 [new] patients per day and the right kind of behavior and a trend of declining infections along with a stabilizing of the hospital system, that will be a positive sign for considering ending the lockdown.”

While the government voted on the lockdown Sunday, the criteria have yet to be drawn up. Levy vowed Monday that the ministry would prepare the criteria in the coming days.

“We will put together the criteria in the coming days.”

The lockdown is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. this Friday, and is officially set to last for three weeks, through October 9th.

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.

Prayer groups will be limited in size during the lockdown, based on a town’s infection rate. Public transportation will operate, but on a limited basis.