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As Curfew Ends, Israeli Cabinet to Discuss Extending General Lockdown

A 16-hour government-imposed curfew that prevented Israelis from congregating for the Passover Seder ended early Thursday morning, although a general nationwide lockdown remained in effect. While Israelis are once again permitted to leave their homes to purchase essential goods, those not engaging in critical work or responding to an emergency must stay within their local communities. Israel’s cabinet was reportedly set to hold a virtual meeting in order to discuss the possibility of prolonging a 60-hour ban on intercity travel, which is scheduled to be lifted on Friday at 7:00 a.m. local time. It comes as health officials raised the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to more than 9,700. As of Thursday afternoon, 79 people had died and well over 100 were being sustained by ventilators. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier this week said that if Israelis abided by the latest guidelines, certain restrictions on movement could be relaxed following the conclusion of Passover on April 15.