“Close restraint” is the coronavirus director Prof. Yossi Gamzu’s proposal for the festival season starting next Friday. It is one of four near-lockdown plans debated by the ministerial panel on Thursday, ahead of approval by the full cabinet in a night session. If approved, tight restrictions would go into effect next Tuesday and entail the closure of schools, retail trade, restaurants and bars, and all other gatherings, including domestic events larger than the nuclear family. Movement between towns would be banned. The “close restraint” directives would not end after the last of the High Holidays on Oct. 11 but continue for another two weeks.
As the daily tally of new covid-19 cases neared 4,000 for the first time on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health urged drastic measures, including full lockdown, at once for containing the out-of-[control spiral. This would depend on the Gamzu plan gaining passage through a sorely divided full coalition cabinet session later on Thursday. However, the blatant breaches at street level of the curfews imposed this week on 40 “red” towns, plus the peak infection rate may propel the ministers into a consensus for confronting the galloping emergency..