Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday called on the government to impose a 10-day nationwide lockdown to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus.
In an interview with Ynet, the energy minister said that he recommends "breathable” closure when it would still be possible for people to go to work.
He added that being connected to the rest of the world is “essential to the economy," referring to Israel's omission from the list of countries with a low COVID-19 infection rate. The omission means Israeli visitors are banned from entering Europe.
"Aerial disconnection from the world is financially dangerous," he said. "Sometimes it is better to make it difficult for ourselves for two weeks in order to make it easier for the rest of the year."
Steinitz said that being disconnected from Europe and the rest of the world for "more than two or three months" will damage "the basic mechanisms of the economy."
He added the economy is also hurting due to the public's fear to go out and shop amid the rising number of new coronavirus cases. "The public sees the number of infected and is afraid to consume, we must reduce the contagion rate to improve the economy."
The energy minister admitted the government was too quick to reopen the economy following the first nationwide lockdown and did not invest enough in enforcement of public health orders.
"We have learned our lesson and this time we'll be able to reopen not only the economy but also the aerial connection with the world."