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Israel to impose full nationwide lockdown due to jump in COVID-19 morbidity

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-11 09:23
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FILE PHOTO: A visitor gets his temperature measured as he wears a face mask at a fashion shopping center in Ashdod, Israel, May 5, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM -- Israel's Corona Cabinet has decided to impose full nationwide closure starting next week, following the soar in COVID-19 morbidity, the state's Prime Minister's Office and Health Ministry said in a joint statement on Thursday night.

The start date of the closure will be decided by the government on Sunday, and it will be the first stage in a three-stage plan aimed to lower the morbidity data.

The closure is supposed to include the upcoming period of Jewish holidays, between the Jewish New Year's Eve on Sept. 18 and Oct. 10.

According to the statement, the second and third stages will take effect only after morbidity is decreased in previous stages.

The closure will include a 500-meter distance limit from home, and the closure of schools, kindergartens, restaurants, hotels, culture and entertainment places, and shops, except for supermarkets and pharmacies.

Also, many workplaces will be closed, or will operate partially with work from home as much as possible.

The second phase will include a ban on traveling between cities, as well as limitations on gatherings, while the education system and most businesses will remain closed.

In the third stage, the "traffic light" plan will take effect again, as each city and town will be classified as red, orange, yellow or green according to morbidity levels, and separate restrictions will be imposed accordingly.

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