The government is set to approve on Tuesday a host of new restrictions on movement, farther confining Israelis to their homes in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Leaving the house will be completely prohibited, excluding restocking on food and medical supplies or for vital work. Sports activities or walking the dog will be limited to a distance of 30-50 meters (100-165 feet) from home.
Public transportation will be reduced significantly, perhaps even stopped completely and taxis won't be able to take more than one customer at a time.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will announce the new restrictions on Tuesday. The decision will remain valid for one week from the time of its approval by the Cabinet.
It appears banks and other vital services will also be allowed to remain open.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked a panel of economic experts to submit by Tuesday an outline for a relief package for Israelis laid off or forced to take unpaid leave.
Officials have also been tasked with devising a plan to increase testing for the virus that must include locating infected cases as well as survey testing to identify infected areas.
Health Ministry officials are seeking a complete shutdown for a period of one week to be imposed on the entire population after Israelis were leaving home to seek relief from their confinement in parks and on beaches. This measure was opposed by government ministers who were concerned that it could deal a fatal blow to the economy, but agreed to a clampdown on any unnecessary excursions.
Earlier Monday, Health Ministry No. 2 Prof. Itamar Grotto said Israel was increasing the number of tests for coronavirus and has ordered 500,000 additional kits.
"Unfortunately, those tests will not be able to tell us definitively if a coronavirus patient is no longer contagious or if they are immune to further infection," Grotto said.
Meanwhile, State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman warned in his annual report Monday that the Israeli health system in is unprepared to deal with the magnitude of patients during a pandemic due to a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators and other medical supplies.
The report was prepared before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.