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Roadblocks, Fines Mark Israel’s Second Coronavirus Lockdown

09-21-2020
Israel's Second Lockdown
Israel's Second Lockdown

Israelis are grappling with a second coronavirus lockdown that began Friday afternoon shortly before a long Rosh Hashanah holiday weekend.

Police set up roadblocks to stop non-essential inter-city and cross-town travel.  They said they’d given out nearly 7,000 fines to people who were not keeping the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health.

The new lockdown was imposed after the number of new cases soared to around 5,000 per day with more than 1,200 deaths so far. There have been more than 188,000 cases in Israel with around 650 serious cases and nearly 136,000 recoveries.

Israelis are only permitted to travel one kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) from their homes except for essential services or on foot for exercise.  

Still, many Israelis are saying this lockdown doesn’t feel nearly as strict as the previous one.

The lockdown has closed stores, restaurants, except for delivery, and schools. However, private businesses that don’t receive the public remain open. But left private businesses open that don’t receive the public.  Public transport is also running with reduced service and only half the passengers allowed.

Police said they shut down one restaurant and a number of businesses that were open illegally.

Meanwhile, protests continued last night against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Over the holiday, many religious Jews prayed and sang prayers in small groups outside because of restrictions on the numbers of those who could meet inside synagogues.

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet is expected to meet tomorrow to discuss tightening restrictions. According to the Jerusalem Post those restrictions could include “closing synagogues, restricting demonstrations and shutting down the private sector, except for essential services.”

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