Times of Israel
Government ministers on Tuesday voted to extend the national lockdown by an additional 10 days, as Israel saw its highest-yet coronavirus infection rates since the start of the pandemic.
The lockdown, already in its third week, was due to end automatically on Thursday night had an extension not been issued. Following the unanimous cabinet decision, is it is now scheduled to end on January 31.
In light of recent high infection rates, extending the closure was also supported by ultra-Orthodox ministers who had previously been hesitant to apply lockdown measures due to the impact they have on prayer services and other aspects of the community’s daily life.
In addition, ministers also approved a fine of NIS 2,500 ($772) for anyone who arrives in the country without a recent negative virus test, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. Under the new policy, the test must be conducted within 72 hours before landing in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had urged continuing the lockdown beyond its planned end date this week. Cabinet members from the Blue and White party reportedly conditioned their support for such a measure on increased enforcement of closure orders and limiting the extension to no more than 10 days, as well as other terms.