No schools, no gatherings: What new lockdown restrictions mean for Israelis

With the current coronavirus closure tightened and extended for the next 2 weeks, Ynet has compiled a list of the latest changes that PM has said will, together with the accelerated vaccination campaign, let Israel quickly emerge on the other side of the pandemic
Nina Fuchs|
Ministers voted Tuesday to tighten the current lockdown after the restrictions imposed over a week ago failed in bringing down the worrying coronavirus infection rate. The newest version of the lockdown appears to have created confusion among the public as to what exactly are the changes.
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  • Ynet has compiled a list of all the latest restrictions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said will, together with the high-speed vaccination campaign, let Israel quickly emerge on the other side of the pandemic.
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    אכיפת משטרה בחוף הים בתל אביב
    אכיפת משטרה בחוף הים בתל אביב
    Police enforcing public health orders in Tel Aviv's Frischmann Beach
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)

    When will the lockdown start and how long will it be?

    The lockdown will start midnight Friday and at this stage is scheduled to last for at least two weeks.

    What is the major change when it comes to current restrictions?

    According to the outline, subject to approval by the government and the Knesset, the country's entire education system, including kindergartens, will shutter. The only exception at this stage appears to be special education facilities.
    Gatherings will be reduced to five people in a confined space and 10 people outside.
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    בית ספר כפיר
    בית ספר כפיר
    Tel Aviv's Kfir Elementary School shuttered due to the lockdown
    (Photo: Shahar Goldstein)

    What other restrictions are there?

    Like with previous lockdowns, leisure, entertainment and cultural venues will be shuttered. Restaurants will only be allowed to offer delivery services, with no take-away.
    People will only be able to venture up to 1,000 meters from their houses, unless it is for the purpose of procuring essential services, getting vaccinated or engaging in individual sporting activity.
    Visits to other people's homes are also prohibited, except for emergency situations.

    Will public transportation continue to work?

    Public transportation will operate at 50% of its full capacity.

    Will people still be allowed to protest?

    Protests will be allowed to continue, with demonstrators required to be at a two-meter distance from one another and wear protective face masks.
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    Anti-government protestors in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

    Can you fly abroad?

    Travel abroad will only be allowed for essential reasons. If you have already purchased plane tickets, you will be allowed to fly, but tickets bought from midnight Friday will not be valid.

    How much will the lockdown cost?

    According to Treasury officials, a two-week lockdown will cost Israel between three to four billion shekels.

    When will the lockdown end?

    Although ministers agreed on a two-week lockdown, it is possible that it will be extended if the current infection rate does not significantly drop.
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    נוסעים שחזרו מדובאי תקועים בנתב"ג
    נוסעים שחזרו מדובאי תקועים בנתב"ג
    Israelis returning from Dubai at Ben Gurion Airport

    What are ministers yet to decide on?

    Education Minister Yoav Galant has requested for the government to permit for students in grades 11-12 to take their matriculation exams this month inside classrooms, with preparations also taking place in school if they are at least three days before the test.
    Ministers have also yet to decide what business will be considered "essential" and allowed to remain open.
    Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis during the cabinet meeting Tuesday called for the closure of all border crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, calling the movement between the borders "a massive import of coronavirus."
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Finance Ministry Israel Katz were set to make a final decision on the matter on Wednesday or Thursday.
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