Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon announced Wednesday he estimates that the government will announce a mass national closure, in the coming days to fight the spread of coronavirus and that his city is prepared for such an eventuality.
Leon said it was not a matter of additional guidelines, but a mere expansion on the guidelines already in place telling residents they should stay indoors, and a ban on opening businesses or mass gatherings.
Leon added that all of the capital's supermarkets and essential services will still be available, his municipality increasing visits to its 21 senior citizens' homes.
The mayor also said that the Health Ministry is working to build the city a "drive-in" coronavirus testing center, similar to the one set up in Tel Aviv, that will likely be located at Teddy Stadium, the city's sports arena.
"We are in regular contact with the Ministry of Health and I hope that by tomorrow we will be able to set up the 'drive-in'," he said.
"I had a meeting this morning with the IDF Home Front Command and the community administrators to know what the closure means. Certainly, if there is a closure, and I believe it will be in the next two days, the police will be called to enforce it. They are supposed to walk around the streets asking people why they're out. I do not find a big difference to existing guidelines. We just need to make sure they are enforced."
The Health Ministry on Wednesday issued an order closing all ultra-Orthodox schools after a number of institutions in that community were found flouting existing directives to suspend learning.
The ministry’s legal adviser Uri Schwartz issued the order under a public health regulation that was signed earlier this week.
The order includes all kindergartens, elementary schools, the Beit Yaakov chain of schools, religious schools for boys (yeshivas) and for girls (seminaries) and religious study programs for young men.
Yesterday the border crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were closed off on both sides, excluding the residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shuafat and Kfar Aqab.