Health Officials: We Are ‘Losing Sleep’ Over Dangers of Seder Night

YERUSHALAYIM -
A man walks in Bnei Brak with a mask and gloves, taking home matzos and other Pesach foods, Wednesday. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Thursday released its official recommendations for how to celebrate Pesach this year. The bottom line: Stay at home.

Sedarim should only be conducted in the presence of the nuclear family, or those living under the same roof – and if there are elderly or other high-risk groups at home, they should be sufficiently separated from young children who may be carrying the virus but are asymptomatic. Keilim mikvehs are officially closed. Burning chametz outdoors is also banned.

At a press conference Wednesday, Health Ministry officials said they were “losing sleep” over the prospects for the spread of coronavirus on Seder night. “It has the potential to be like Purim, which we later found out was when many people were infected with coronavirus,” officials said. “We know it is unpleasant, but we have no choice. We are very concerned over the gatherings that could take place on the night of the chag,” they said.

One thing that was still permitted, the Ministry said, was recruiting assistance to clean the house in the days before Pesach. However, the Ministry recommends against it. “You need to determine the risk and the need for bringing a cleaning person into the house,” officials said. “That person may be a carrier.”