אכפית המשטרה את סגר הקורונה בסוכות
Police enforce travel restrictions during the second lockdown in September
Photo: Police Spokesperson
Police enforce travel restrictions during the second lockdown in September

Israel prepares for 3rd lockdown as infection rate remains high

Police say they will concentrate effort on preventing crowded gatherings held in violation of lockdown restrictions, will use roadblocks in evening hours to prevent people from traveling further than 1 kilometer from home; special enforcement to be in place for New Year's Eve

Gilad Cohen |
Published: 12.27.20, 09:13
Israel will begin its third lockdown at 5 pm on Sunday, as coronavirus cases across the country continue to surge.
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  • Some 2,630 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday, and the positivity rate stood at 4.1% after 64,662 tests were conducted.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    אכפית המשטרה את סגר הקורונה בסוכות
    אכפית המשטרה את סגר הקורונה בסוכות
    Police enforce travel restrictions during the second lockdown in September
    (Photo: Police Spokesperson)
    Israel Police said Sunday it would concentrate its enforcement efforts on illegal gatherings during the lockdown.
    Unlike in the two previous lockdowns, the police said they would not be setting up roadblocks during the day, to enforce the ban on movement of more than one kilometer from home. They also said they would favor dialogue with citizens over the imposition of fines.
    Temporary roadblocks will be set up on intercity roads for spot checks solely to ensure people are in compliance with the lockdown directives that allow some people to travel to work, and in an effort to avoid the traffic jams and delays that were seen during the lockdown imposed over the Jewish New Year in September.
    In the evening hours, police will increase their presence on roads to prevent unauthorized movement with an estimated 300 roadblocks going up all over the country from the early evening hours until midnight.
    "We are facing a complex reality," said Assistant Commissioner Shimon Nachmani, Israel Police head of operations.
    "The third lockdown is unlike the first two previous ones. We must demonstrate our resilience along with our restraint in order to prevent a rise in morbidity," he said.
    There is concern that New Year's Eve celebrations would be held in violation of the lockdown and police officials said they would work towards thwarting planned events before they take place, as well as enforcing the law at events that are detected.
    According to the police, and in accordance with the law, political demonstrations would be allowed and there would be no travel restrictions on those wishing to participate in them.
    They also committed to increased enforcement in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities, where infections rate are high.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חתונה המונית במודיעין עילית
    חתונה המונית במודיעין עילית
    An ultra-Orthodox wedding celebration held in violation of health restrictions last month in Modi'din Illit
    (Photo: Itamar Kirshenbaum)
    The lockdown is expected to last beyond the two weeks announced by the government and will remain in place until the daily infection rate drops below 1,000 new cases and the R number (indicating the number of people each infection person passes the virus to) is found to be below 1.
    As Israel's inoculation drive enters its second week, 280,000 people have already received their first of two vaccines.
    On Friday, and in advance of the lockdown, shopping centers were full as people rushed to get in their shopping before all commerce stops.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    קניות אחרונות בשוק הכרמל ירושלים לפני הסגר השלישי
    קניות אחרונות בשוק הכרמל ירושלים לפני הסגר השלישי
    Crowds at the Maahne Yehuda market in Jerusalem ahead of the third lockdown Sunday
    (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
    "We came to buy new pajamas, clothes and toys," said one shopper. "We also wanted to show support for businesses that will be shut down again and are struggling."
    "We want to show them the people of Israel are with them," she said adding she cannot understand why another lockdown is being imposed.
    "This must be done," another shopper said of the lockdown. "It is the same all over the world and the public should show some understanding."
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