By Ariel Kahana , Gideon Allon, and Israel Hayom Staff—
Cabinet ministers approved a series of restrictions on public gatherings and venues on Friday in an effort to curb the second outbreak of the coronavirus, which has been gripping Israel over the past two weeks.
The Health Ministry said 1,832 new infections were confirmed between Thursday and Friday, just shy of the 2000-daily case tally that Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has set as a trigger for a nationwide lockdown.
Israel has so far recorded 46,546 COVID-19 cases, including 387 deaths. Some 20,523 Israelis have recovered from the disease.
Of the confirmed cases, 1,251 were of tourists and foreign nationals staying in Israel, the ministry said.
The new restrictions, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed sought to prevent a full nationwide lockdown, bar gatherings of over 10 people indoors, and 20 outdoors, but nuclear families will be exempt. There will be no restrictions on individual movement at this time.
Gyms and fitness studios will close from 5 p.m. on Friday until further notice. Restaurants will be available for takeout and deliveries only.
Beaches will remain open, as will hotel pools. Restaurants in hotels will be limited to 35% capacity.
Government offices will be limited to 50% capacity and will be closed to the public. The private sector is again encouraged to allow employees to work from home wherever possible.
Other restrictions include shuttering all stores on weekends, between 5 p.m. on Friday and 5 a.m. on Sunday. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and stores that sell essential items will be allowed to remain open.
Meanwhile, Planning Directorate Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Abulafia has been asked to head the government’s coronavirus task force. Abulafia’s appointment has been endorsed by Edelstein and awaits the cabinet’s approval. Continue Reading…..