The National Roads Authority on Tuesday reported it has recorded heavy traffic on Israeli roads as the government's new movement restrictions were about to come into effect.
The state-owned infrastructure company said that traffic density has gone up by 45% in comparison with the previous week, a trend that began on Monday, as rumors of the planned restrictions, which include a full curfew on Passover's traditional Seder night, started surfacing in the media.
It should be noted that in the previous two weeks, there has been a 60-50 percent decrease in traffic on Ayalon Highway, one of Israel's major roads connecting most of the country's center.
The lockdown, which was voted by the government on Tuesday, is set to begin at 7pm of that day and will include a curfew from 3pm Wednesday until Thursday morning, to prevent people giving in to the temptation to visit family and friends on the first night of the festival.
The nationwide lockdown essentially prevents most Israelis from leaving the municipal boundaries of their own cities, although they would be allowed to shop for essential supplies in their communities close to their homes.
This is in contrast to the current guidelines that allow the public to stock up on food and medicine in stores and pharmacies, which might not be closest to their place of residence.
During that time, people will only be allowed to move between cities in extraordinary cases.
All public transport, including international and domestic flights, will be halted during the lockdown. Taxi services will still be operational.
Also, due to a nationwide curfew set to be in place on the night of Seder, food stores and pharmacies on Wednesday will close at 3pm, at least three hours earlier than they usually close on the eve of the Passover.
In addition, an order requiring Israelis to wear surgical masks when going outside will officially be issued and is set to go into effect on Sunday at 7am.