The Cabinet ministers on Tuesday night approved the imposition of a full lockdown to begin at midnight Thursday night. The lockdown will last two weeks and will include the shutdown of jobs and the education system.
At the same time, it was decided to restore the policy of sending Israelis returning from red countries to coronavirus hotels.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein presented to the government on Tuesday evening the restrictions he seeks to implement in the tighter lockdown which will take effect on Friday,
Edelstein addressed the issue of demonstrations and said, "Epidemiologically, the demonstrations are a danger. I do not understand why demonstrations need to be approved. The government has fallen anyway."
"But if we now come up with a proposal to restrict demonstrations, the whole discourse will change and all the media will say that everything is just for political reasons. I chose the path of relying on broad public support," the minister explained.
Edelstein further noted, "Despite repeated recommendations from Prof. Blitzer for weeks that have not been accepted so far, we have now decided to accept the recommendation and limit gatherings in a closed space to five people, and this includes synagogues."
The Health Ministry's proposal will include operating public transportation at no more than up to 50% capacity and tightening the restriction on gatherings: five people in a closed place instead of 10, and reducing gatherings in open areas from 20 people to 10.
During the lockdown, trade will be closed and exit from the house will only be allowed to essential workplaces. Individual sports activities will be allowed. Ministers will examine the possibility of closing the retail chains every evening at 7 PM in order to reduce the number of citizens leaving the house.
Education Minister Yoav Galant will agree to close the education system and seek to exclude special education. Galant will demand that all grade school and kindergarten teachers be vaccinated as soon as possible. ''Teachers and kindergarten teachers are in charge of what is most precious to us - our children. I demand to vaccinate them immediately. I am convinced that the government will approve my recommendation," he said.