Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu further tightened restrictions on Israelis Saturday in an attempt to combat the spread of coronavirus, including limiting gatherings to 10 people and closing all leisure and entertainment venues effective Sunday morning.
Netanyahu said all cafes, restaurants, theaters and other such venues would close. He urged Israeli citizens to work from home if possible and to refrain from non-essential travel.
We are at war against an invisible enemy,” Netanyahu said. “Defeating it depends on the steps that each of you takes. We must do everything in order not to infect and not to become infected.”
There was no indication of how long these measures would remain in effect.
Pharmacies, supermarkets and all essential services would remain open, Netanyahu said. He also promised there would not be shortages of food, medicine, fuel and money.
Netanyahu said he planned to utilize counterterrorism tools to fight the virus’s spread. The tools would provide digital and electronic monitoring of coronavirus patients to see where they had been and whom they might have put at risk. Such tools, Netanyahu said, have never been used for civilian purposes, only for combating terrorism, and he said he was seeking permission from the Ministry of Justice to use them.
Israel currently has 193 identified cases of coronavirus, according to Health Ministry officials.