Israel Approves Extreme Two-Week Lockdown

Coronavirus Czar Opposed: 'Tremendous' Economic Cost

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Starting on Friday, almost all Israeli business will be closed, and most people will be worshiping outside during Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

The Israeli Cabinet approved a strict two-week lockdown to stem the tide of new Covid-19 cases, which hit nearly 7,000 for the second straight day on Wednesday. Health officials blame the spike on Israelis who are not obeying the rules and large gatherings where people are unknowingly spreading the virus.

According to the Times of Israel:

Yom Kippur prayers that begin Sunday evening will take place almost entirely outdoors, with groups of up to 10 worshipers permitted to pray inside synagogues, the decision said. The shutdown will also cover the entirety of the Sukkot holiday.

In addition, nearly all public transportation will be canceled and Israelis will be limited to within a kilometer of their homes.

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Israel’s coronavirus “czar,” however, does not support the new measures, warning of their economic cost.

The Times of Israel reports that Ronni Gamzu said, “I recommended a [less severe] tightening of the lockdown, but the government decided otherwise and I respect that.”

“Obviously when you lock down more tightly you slow the infection rate more significantly, but the economic cost is tremendous,” he noted. “Even so, the government has the authority to make that call.”

“It made the decision after careful consideration, and if they decided on a tighter closure, that’s okay,” Gamzu added. “We’re going to go with that. It will help stop infections.”

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