Strict three-week lockdown in Israel from Sept 18 to Oct.9

The cabinet on Sunday approved a national lockdown starting on the eve of Rosh Hashanah and continuing until after Simhat Torah. The state of covid-19 infection will then be evaluated before deciding whether to continue full closure. Schools, which were to have shut down two days earlier, will also close on Friday. Malls, retail trade, restaurants and entertainment venues will be closed;  movements confined to 500m outside the home; and synagogue worship restricted to 10 indoors, 20 in the open air. Private workplaces will operate full time under health guidelines.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that lockdown was unavoidable after the red flag shown by the health authorities. New coronavirus cases had soared steeply in recent days, and the number of “red’ regions proliferated from 30 to 70 or 80, i.e. encompassing most of the country.

The prime minister held his televised news conference before boarding a flight to Washington to attend the ceremonial signing of a normalization accord with the UAE hosted at the White House on Tuesday by President Donald Trump. He noted that two historic peace deals with Arab nations had been concluded in the space of a month.

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