מחסום משטרה בכביש 1
A police roadblock on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at the entrance to the capital
Photo: AFP
Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov

Treasury nixes Health Ministry chief bid to extend lockdown until end of Passover

Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov feared some Israelis have violated ban on movement imposed for the first days of the festival as part of efforts to curb spread of coronavirus, wants strict restrictions to last until next week and not end on Friday morning; Netanyahu and Litzman to consider proposal

Itamar Eichner, Itay Blumenthal |
Updated: 04.09.20 , 22:26
The Finance Ministry on Thursday night rejected a recommendation by Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov to extend the tighter coronavirus lockdown until the end of the Passover next week.
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  • The stricter restrictions, which came into effect Tuesday, will be lifted on Friday morning as planned.
    משה בר סימן טובמשה בר סימן טוב
    Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov
    (Photo: GPO)
    Bar-Siman-Tov called earlier Thursday for the strict lockdown imposed for the first few days of Passover to be extended until the end of the holiday on Wednesday.
    The call was based on the belief that many people in Israel did not abide by the strict regulations to fight the coronavirus put in place on Tuesday and have left their homes.
    The emergency regulations were introduced as part of steps taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus and in particular effort to avoid a spike in cases as happened during the Purim holiday last month.
    מחסום משטרה בכביש 1מחסום משטרה בכביש 1
    A police roadblock on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at the entrance to the capital
    (Photo: AFP)
    Bar-Siman-Tov fears that many people ignored the strict regulations put in place on Tuesday and have left their homes during Passover.
    The issue was to be raised with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.
    The regulations, announced Monday by the prime minister, were twofold: a general lockdown from Tuesday until Friday morning that includes a ban on moving between cities and a tighter curfew from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning, which kept people in their homes for the first night of the Passover holiday.
    Public transportation has also been halted and will only resume on Sunday morning.
    Many people across Israel took to their balconies Wednesday night to sing together the songs of the Seder service that marks the first night of the festival. In Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, the local police chief joined officers enforcing the curfew to wish local residents a happy Passover.
    The Health Ministry said Thursday morning that the death toll from the coronavirus in Israel has risen to 79.
    There has been a rise of 351 in confirmed cases, bringing the number of people infected with the virus to 9,755. Of that number, 165 people are in serious condition and 119 people are on ventilators.
    The stringent regulations were due to end on Friday morning.
    רחובות תל אביב ריקים בצל הקורונהרחובות תל אביב ריקים בצל הקורונה
    A woman walks her dog along a deserted Tel Aviv street
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    Israelis have been largely obeying the stricter regulations;city roads and interurban highways mostly empty of cars Thursday, while very few people could be seen on the streets.
    Those who did venture out were walking their dogs or taking some air within the 100-meter range allowed by regulations.
    שוטרי תל אביב גילו לפני זמן קצר על הטיילת אדם שהפר בידודשוטרי תל אביב גילו לפני זמן קצר על הטיילת אדם שהפר בידוד
    Police detain a man violating his quarantine on Tel Aviv seafront
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    Meanwhile, police on Thursday continue extensive enforcement operations throughout the country.
    In Tel Aviv, police found a man violating his home isolation to take a walk on the seafront boardwalk. He was fined and given a police escort back to his home.


    First published: 21:08 , 04.09.20
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