Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Monday he will demand from the government to impose a nighttime during the holiday of Purim from 8pm to 5am.
Israel is set to celebrate Purim over the weekend and with trade and cultural venues reopening, officials fear illegal parties will lead to another outbreak of coronavirus, similarly to last year when the holiday's festivities gave way to the country's first mass surge in COVID-19.
Edelstein brought up the measure during a National Security Council meeting earlier and it will be tabled for the government vote later in the day.
According to the agreement between the Health Ministry and the NSC, the curfew set to be in effect for all three days of the festivities, while pre-planned sporting and cultural events will be excluded from the curfew in accordance with the Green Pass restrictions.
"I thought everyone remembers the national trauma of Purim a year ago and all the consequences it had, it turns out not all of us," the health minister said during a Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet conference.
"In recent days we are receiving reports of a 35% increase in the sale of alcoholic beverages. Social media is also full of invitations to all sorts of happy and cheerful parties. We are forced to table a proposal for a nighttime curfew for three nights, I hope it helps."
Edelstein added he will also demand a significant reduction in public transportation on Purim, including a limit on the number of passengers allowed on each bus or train.
Authorities have received indications that Purim parties are being planned across the country, especially in the ultra-Orthodox sector, despite the restrictions on gatherings. Therefore, limiting public transport is necessary to stop the youths, predominantly Haredi, from arriving to places where the illegal events are set to take place.
Edelstein echoed the statements made earlier by Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch, who told Ynet that there is no other choice but to implement a curfew.
"We still have thousands of new infections a day and among young people the percentage of vaccinated is low. We won't see parties until 2am full of 70-year-olds, so young people's parties should be avoided."