Israel announces its third nationwide lockdown amid Covid spike
Israel announces its third nationwide lockdown amid Covid spike days after four cases of new mutant British strain were detected in the country
- Israel’s third lockdown will start from 5pm on Sunday and will last for two weeks
- The measures are a response to a surge in infections and mutant British strain
- The lockdown may continue until daily cases are below 1,000 and R-rate is 1
Israel has announced its third national lockdown amid a surge in Covid cases just a day after the mutant British strain of the virus was identified in the country.
The new restrictions, which will force businesses to close, come after its vaccination programme was rolled out this week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the lockdown will start from 5pm on Sunday and will provisionally last for two weeks.
Israel has announced its third national lockdown amid a surge in Covid cases just days after the country started rolling out its vaccination programme
The new lockdown comes after a sharp rebound in the infection rate since the last lockdown in September
The statement said: ‘There is an option to extend the lockdown for an additional two weeks, unless the basic reproduction number (for the virus) falls below 1 and the number of new cases per day falls below 1,000.’
For the past week, Israel has regularly been reporting more than 2,000 new cases per day, with 2,535 infections recorded on Wednesday.
Israelis will be barred from travelling more than one kilometre from their homes and businesses will be closed except for deliveries.
Exceptions will be made for those travelling for vaccinations and schools will remain partially open for some age groups.
The new lockdown comes after a sharp rebound in the infection rate since the last lockdown in September, when the per capita infection rate was among the highest in the world.
Israel launched a nationwide inoculation programme on Monday after receiving a first consignment of the vaccine
In a population of nine million, Israel has now confirmed 385,022 coronavirus cases, 3,150 of them fatal.
Israel launched a nationwide inoculation programme on Monday after receiving a first consignment of the vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
In response to the new British strain of the virus, Israel this week banned foreign nationals arriving from Britain, Denmark or South Africa, where a separate new strain has emerged.
It also imposed a mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from abroad.
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