Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in JerusalemOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli Finance Minister Avidgor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) announced his opposition to a new COVID lockdown Monday evening, pushing back against plans by the government to impose a fourth lockdown if infection rates continue to rise.

Liberman noted the significant economic costs of imposing widespread closures, adding that it remains unclear whether they are effective in reducing the number of seriously ill COVID patients.

“It isn’t clear if there is a correlation between lockdowns and a decline in new confirmed cases and in seriously ill patients. What is clear is that there is a correlation between lockdowns and economic damage.”

Earlier on Monday, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Head of Public Health Services at the Health Ministry, also expressed opposition to imposing a fourth lockdown, saying that vaccines and less intrusive restrictions are more effective.

"A lockdown is not decree from Heaven. What beats pandemics is vaccines, not a lockdown. A lockdown is a tactical means. We are trying not to go there. In order for us not to go there, we need to slow the pandemic by using all the means we have - the Green Pass, the Purple Pass, and limiting gatherings. All of it is in order to slow the pandemic."