Police enforcing the lockdown
Police enforcing the lockdownYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel's Health Ministry has held ongoing discussions regarding what number of coronavirus cases should signal that there is no option other than to enforce a lockdown.

According to News 12, the number decided upon is 600-700 seriously ill patients. If the doubling rate remains stable and the vaccines do not have the expected impact, reaching this number would mean that Israel will eventually have 1,200-1,400 seriously ill patients. For this reason, the benchmark will be 600-700.

It is possible that a lockdown will not be needed, if the third dose of the vaccine brings down the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients.

In another ten days to two weeks, the Israeli government will be forced to decide whether Israel is headed towards a lockdown or not, in order to allow the public enough time to prepare for the Tishrei holidays. A source in the healthcare system told News 12 that "there is importance in trying to reach a lockdown over the Tishrei holidays, so as not to lose work days for the business sector."

If a lockdown is enforced, schools will not open, and for at least three weeks, Israeli citizens will be required to remain in their homes.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the Health Ministry will approve an additional list of countries from which returnees will be required to quarantine. It is expected that these regulations will remain in place until October.