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A shopper wears a mask at a supermaket in Sderot
Photo: Roee Idan
A shopper wears a mask at a supermaket in Sderot

Israel tightens coronavirus ban: Don't leave house unless necessary

New far-reaching guidelines effectively prohibit Israelis from entering public spaces, including the beach, parks and nature reserves, with few exceptions; Rivlin makes plea for public to abide by orders

Sivan Hilaie |
Published: 03.17.20 , 17:02
The Health Ministry published a new host of guidelines on Tuesday in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, effectively grounding all citizens to their homes unless it is "absolutely necessary" for them to go outside.
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  • The updated guidelines prohibit the public from visiting parks, playgrounds, the beach, pool, libraries, museums, nature reserves or other public spaces except with children in a family framework or with a pet.
    שדרותשדרות
    A shopper wears a mask at a supermaket in Sderot
    (Photo: Roee Idan)
    All classes and extracurricular activities are canceled effective immediately, even in smaller groups.
    Sporting activities may still be held in groups of up to 5 people as long as participants keep a distance of at least two meters(6.5 feet) from each other.
    All interpersonal connections should be maintained via remote means only, such as telephone or video calls. Avoid hosting friends and family who do not reside in your home.
    Populations at high-risk, such elderly people and patients with pre-existing medical conditions should avoid leaving their homes as far as is possible, hosting people at home; except for essential services; and use the assistance of friends and family to replenish supplies.
    Employers must reduce staff at the workplace to a bare minimum using remote work and video calls and conferencing.
    בית החולים השרוןבית החולים השרון
    A hospital in central Israel prepares to receive coronavirus patients
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    Employees who cannot work remotely should maintain at a distance of at least two meters (6.5 feet) from each other and proper hygienic conditions.
    Delivery services will only take goods as far as a customer's doorstep.
    All dental treatments should be postponed unless absolutely necessary or is emergency treatment.
    President Reuven Rivlin urged the public to abide by the Health Ministry's guidelines and not treat the situation like a holiday.
     ביקור ראובן ריבלין באוגדת עזה ובנתיבות ביקור ראובן ריבלין באוגדת עזה ובנתיבות
    President Reuven Rivlin
    (Photo: GPO)
    “Dear citizens, the restrictions do not mean holidays! I request you all to take very good care of yourselves!” said the president.
    “I know very what that being closed up at home is not at all easy. I understand that the children need open spaces and that, you, parents also need some breathing room.
    "But, nevertheless, we must not turn these days into leisure days, I hear that our beaches and hiking trails are bursting. The danger is real! Let me ask you again to follow the instructions regarding distancing, and to keep away from gatherings. This is a real danger.”
    “My dear ones, at this difficult time when the special excitement of preparing for Passover gives way to fear and anxiety, I send you my best wishes and prayers for the welfare and good health of all Israelis. If we follow the instructions, they will keep us safe. Patience and deep breaths – this is our spirit, and if we keep it up, it will keep us strong.”
    The new directive will not be enforced by police, but the public is urged to act accordingly.
    The new guidelines join a series of emergency regulations approved by the government on Sunday to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus, among them a NIS 5,000 (roughly $1,360) fine for individuals who are found violating quarantine.
    Tel Aviv man arrested for violating quarantine


    According to the regulations, police and local authorities can impose administrative fines on individuals who violate quarantine or the Health Ministry's guideline that forbid mass gatherings.
    A NIS 5,000 fine will be imposed for violating isolation obligation and leaving quarantine prematurely.
    A NIS 3,000 fine will be imposed for failing to report to the Health Ministry about entering quarantine or failing to report arrival from abroad.
    A NIS 5,000 fine will be imposed for violating a police officer's order to disperse a mass gathering.
    Additional steps were approved to prevent the spread of the pathogen in prisons. Among them, the reassignment of incarceration facilities as quarantine compounds for prisoners.
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