Israeli Coronavirus Project coordinator Ronni Gamzu said on Wednesday that if the country’s COVID-19 morbidity levels do not decline by Sept. 1, local or national lockdowns will have to be considered.

Following a meeting of Israel’s coronavirus Cabinet, Gamzu said that the next two weeks are the “last opportunity” to get the outbreak under control without resorting to more extreme measures, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“No country with as high a morbidity level as Israel has dealt with morbidity without a lockdown,” said Gamzu. “The government of Israel is sensitive to the delicate socio-economic situation and the hardships of the public; therefore, it has placed its confidence in me for a path that does not include a full lockdown. It seems that this is the last opportunity for a moderate line. Should morbidity not decline within two weeks, we will be obliged to consider restrictions including the possibility of a local or nationwide lockdown.”

Gamzu presented a series of recommendations for dealing with the crisis at Wednesday’s meeting—all unanimously approved, according to the statement.

Most nationwide restrictions currently in place will remain; however, restrictions on businesses opening during the weekend and on public playgrounds will be lifted (the Cabinet is to approve these measures on Thursday).

A “traffic light” system for managing the pandemic on the local-authority level, according to the morbidity situation in each city, is to be set up starting on Sept. 1. The plan is to be presented to the public ahead of its implementation, according to the statement.

Among the other measures approved for these cities were “strict adherence to quarantine of the family unit in order to cut inter-family infection,” as well as increased enforcement of restrictions on the size of public gatherings.

Schools in these cities will be restricted, in full coordination with the local education system, while Health Ministry and health maintenance organization involvement will be boosted.

The cabinet also authorized the creation of an outline for reopening Israel’s skies on Aug. 16, to be presented to the Cabinet for approval as soon as possible.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.