The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel has risen to 945 with 20 people in serious condition, the Health Ministry said Sunday morning.
There are 297 people hospitalized, 344 who have remained at home, and 97 interned in dedicated hotels. The first fatality as a result of the virus was reported Saturday with the death of Aryeh Even, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor from Jerusalem.
The latest government-approved emergency measures came into effect at 8 am as the country battles to limit the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Health Ministry, the new measures that will now be enforced by police, are requiring people to stay in their homes and only going outside to buy vital food and medicine, seek medical care, donate blood, appear in court, attend to parliamentary needs, meet social welfare needs or exercise the right to demonstrate.
People can step out briefly as long as they remain close to home. They can also participate in religious worship, including ritual baths, and ceremonies such as weddings and funerals as long as the order limiting congregations of more than 10 people is observed.
Israelis can also leave home for brief periods of time for R&R and in order to assist others in need.
Sporting activity is limited to no more than two participants and only two people can travel in one car.
The regulations were approved late last week and further limit the movement of Israelis and restrict commerce.
Businesses that operate in violation of these regulations will be subject to prosecution that could result in a fine or up to six months incarceration.
As of Sunday, open-air markets must remain closed including for the sale of fresh produce. The mayors of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, however, say they have not been informed of this directive and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon saying he opposes a move that prevents people from having access to fresh food.
On Saturday, Israelis visited parks and beaches, raising concerns that the home quarantine is not being observed and could lead to further infections.
In a television interview Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed the hope that the public would behave responsibly and prevent further spread of the virus.
Netanyahu said the government was hoping to increase testing for coronavirus to 3,000 a day Sunday but hoped to increase the number to 10,000 tests in the coming days.