Israel Tightens Corona Lockdown, Might Close Airport
Israel’s second lockdown will be tightened from 2 pm on Friday, September 25, and will continue through October 11, at least, the Israeli government decided following a lengthy all-night cabinet meeting. This period includes the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. The lockdown comes on the heels of a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, with over 7,000 new cases diagnosed on both Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The fate of flights in and out of Israel from Ben-Gurion International Airport during this period will be decided by an interministerial committee led by Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Transportation Minister Miri Regev, which is expected to meet before the weekend. The cabinet decision also limits holiday prayer gatherings to only 10 people indoors, and those praying outside will be divided into small 20-person “pods,” with participants distanced at least 2 meters from each other. Demonstrations will also be limited to 20 people, separated from each other by at least 2 meters, and protesters may only travel up to 1 kilometer to reach the demonstration site. The ongoing protests outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem will be limited to 2,000 people, and only those living within 1 kilometer of the protest can participate.