Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in JerusalemOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Israeli government will likely reimpose restrictions on public activity ahead of the upcoming Purim holiday, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish said Monday, hinting that a fourth nationwide lockdown may be necessary.

“We are very concerned about Purim,” Kish told “Hadashot HaBoker” on Monday. “We will have to put some restrictions.”

Despite the decline in COVID infection rates and progress in Israel’s efforts to vaccinate the entire population over the age of 50, Kish said the government will deliberate in the next few days on what kinds of new restrictions to impose on public activity.

“Purim naturally leads to mass gatherings, rejoicing, the Adloyada processions – things that cannot be done during the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We won’t celebrate this Purim as if everything is fine. In order to be able to celebrate Passover properly, we have to carefully follow the rules during Purim. The infection rate is still high.”

Kish also refused to rule out a fourth lockdown.

“Everything is on the table. Everything. I want to say that as clearly as possible from now already. We will deliberate on possible alternatives in the coming days, and we’ll make a decision in the Health Ministry and bring it to the Cabinet. It will either be to back a lockdown, a curfew at night, or stricter restrictions on gatherings.”