אריה דרעי
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri
Photo: Shmulic Dodfor
Empty streets of Jerusalem on Monday morning

Israel won't extend winter time to fight virus, Interior Ministry says

Daylight saving time was set to be delayed by a month but following widespread opposition to the move proposed by the interior minister, winter time will end as planned on a night between Thursday and Friday

Amir Alon , Itamar Eichner |
Published: 03.23.20 , 11:59
Israel will not extend winter time by a month after various government bodies expressed strong opposition to the move proposed by the Interior Ministry as a measure to combat the spread of coronavirus.
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  • Interior Ministry Aryeh Deri earlier said he was set to extend winter time - formally known as standard time - which was set to end on a night between Thursday and Friday, in an effort to make the public spend less time outside the house thus reducing the probability of contracting COVID-19.
    רחובות ירושלים ריקים בעקבות הקורונהרחובות ירושלים ריקים בעקבות הקורונה
    Empty streets of Jerusalem on Monday morning
    (Photo: TPS)
    Deri, however, was strongly advised against the move during a meeting on Monday morning.
    The meeting was attended by Acting National Security Advisor Eytan Ben-David as well as representatives from the IDF, the Finance Ministry, Communications Ministry, Justice Ministry, the Government ICT Authority (Information and communications technology) and other bodies related to cyber-technologies.
    The interior minister said he has decided to adopt the bodies’ recommendations and not postpone daylight saving time later this week.
    אריה דרעיאריה דרעי
    Interior Minister Aryeh Deri
    (Photo: Shmulic Dodfor)
    The Government ICT Authority was among the first to oppose the move since the passage between daylight saving time and winter time is built into the operating systems of most computers and smart phones and cannot be updated before the clock is moved later this week.
    On Sunday, Attorey General Avichai Mandelblit approved the request made by the Interior Ministry to include the extension of standard time into the state of emergency orders currently in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
    On Saturday evening, Deri apparently spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and informed them of his intention to delay the daylight saving time.
    חיטוי של סניף משטרה ומד"א בראשון לציוןחיטוי של סניף משטרה ומד"א בראשון לציון
    City workers disinfect streets in Rishon Letzion
    (Photo: Shahar Goldstein)
    "A few days ago, I proposed to delay daylight saving time to prevent children and adults from being outside the home for an additional hour, thus reducing the use of public spaces,” said Deri on Sunday evening.
    “I consulted with the prime minister on this and received his agreement in principle.”
    As of Sunday morning, the number of people infected with coronavirus in Israel stands at 1238, with 24 people remaining in serious condition.
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