The government approved new emergency measures late Tuesday night to further restrict the movement of Israelis, which will go into effect Wednesday at 8 pm.
After a six-hour-long teleconference meeting, the ministers approved the restriction on the public to venture no further than 100 meters from home at all times except for the supply of food, medicine, and other essential house maintenance needs. Synagogues are also closed.
Public transportation will be limited further, vital workers will be required to submit to a temperature screening upon entering work locations.
Supermarkets and pharmacies will continue to operate as well as banks, gas stations, and other vital services.
Delivery of supplies will continue but restaurants will no longer be able to deliver meals in takeaway form.
An official announcement was to be released on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to establish a command center and be responsible for the necessary procurement of medical equipment to fill the need of the medical teams including ventilators, that will be needed to treat patients.
The government also instructed the Israeli Defense Industries to examine options to manufacture the medical equipment locally.
Remote learning will resume for Israeli school students.
Other exemptions to the restrictions will include veterinarian visits and pet food deliveries.
Israelis have already been required to remain at home and leave only for the purchase of food or other essentials. Except for essential workers or for medical reasons while maintaining a two-meter distance from one another and limiting the number of people allowed in one space to 10.
Enforcement of the restrictions will be increased, and their violation will result in a NIS 5,000 fine or up to six months in incarceration.
Behind the scenes, a tense battle was waged over the scale of the new directives.
Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov had pushed for a full lockdown of all non-essential workplaces, banks, and public transportation.
The Finance Ministry vehemently opposed such a move and tried to keep the economy in its current state, even with new lockdown guidelines.
Israel on Tuesday recorded its second and third coronavirus-related deaths - a 67-year-old woman from Bat Yam and an 82-year-old resident of the same Jerusalem nursing home as the 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who succumbed to the disease on Friday.
First published: 07:55, 03.25.20