Hours before the national lockdown goes into effect at 1400 hours on Friday, the Ministry of Health reported 5,238 new cases in the last 24 hours and a steady increase in seriously ill cases up to 577 and 153 on ventilators, including another ten after midnight. The death toll rose to 1,169. A list of “red” cities released early Friday covers most of the country, with the virus infection in Jerusalem spreading out of the ultra-religious and Arab neighborhoods to the rest of the capital.
The prime minister warned on Thursday that should the lockdown restrictions currently approved fail to curb the spread of the virus. there will be more restraints and the three-week closure may be prolonged. As of Friday, all retail trade is shuttered including restaurants, excepting only food stores and pharmacies. Schools, hairdressers and gyms will stay closed. New Year worship in synagogues is restricted to 10 indoors, 20 outside and the festival meals restricted to the nuclear family. For now, most people are allowed to go to work after the festival on Monday at places that don’t receive the public