Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020
Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020
Photo: Reuters
Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020

New prayer, work coronavirus restrictions take hold in Israel

Week-long stringent measures include ban on public prayer sessions, with few exceptions, funerals limited to 20 people and circumcisions to 10; workplaces must ensure distance between employees, disinfect shared equipment

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 03.31.20 , 18:48
New restrictions on public prayer and in workplaces took effect in Israel at 5pm on Tuesday as part of ongoing efforts to counter the spread of coronavirus.
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  • For the next seven days, prayers sessions in public cannot include more than one person, although the rabbi of the Western Wall may allow prayers for 10 worshippers who as far as possible live nearby, on dates and under conditions approved by the health minister.
    Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020 Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020
    Jewish worshippers practice social distancing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 31, 2020
    (Photo: Reuters)
    In addition, the minister for Religious Affairs may allow prayers in an open space for a fixed quorum of 10 people for the purpose of broadcasting the prayers to the general public.
    The health minister must approve the location and the conditions for participation.
    Other religious rites are also restricted, with no more than 10 people allowed to attend a circumcision and no more than 20 people at a funeral that must also be held in an open area.
    הלוויתו של אברהם ארושס בן ה- 93 אשר נפטר מנגיף הקורונההלוויתו של אברהם ארושס בן ה- 93 אשר נפטר מנגיף הקורונה
    The funeral for a coronavirus patient in israel
    (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
    Workplaces must now also enforce tighter regulations, with employees taking their temperature before arriving at work and signing a declaration that they have no coronavirus symptoms – a temperature of over 38°C, a cough and difficulty breathing.
    Employees must arrive at their workplace with a completed form for each day, and the employer must collect and save the forms.
    בדיקת חום בכנסת יולי אדלשטייןבדיקת חום בכנסת יולי אדלשטיין
    Former Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein has his temperature checked before entering parliament
    (Photo: The Knesset)
    In workplaces where it is impossible to maintain a distance of two meters between employees, the employer must use other means to prevent infection.
    Each employee must be assigned their own permanent personal equipment as much as possible.
    Equipment used by more than one person must undergo rigorous disinfection before it is handed over.

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