Police Publish 65-Point Update of Coronavirus Rules

israel coronavirus
A policeman watches as a shopper walks by at a roadblock in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Among the challenges posed by life in the coronavirus crisis—aside from the obvious ones concerning health, work and study—is that of complying with official regulations. Staying at home is simple enough, but once a person leaves home, life gets rather complicated.

The Israeli Police published on Tuesday a 2,500-word update of “Police Guidelines and Information,” which is forbidding enough to persuade people to stay home if they can.

The update lists 19 “permitted purposes for leaving the house,” 4 prohibited public locations, 4 types of business still locked down, 8 permitted business categories, 8 exemptions from wearing face masks, 4 rules for operating permitted businesses, 4 separate hotlines and 14 offenses subject to fines. Plus numerous sublistings.

Permitted purposes include some that one might not have thought of, such as legal proceedings, and going to the Knesset (the two may be combined). Minyanim, bris milah, mikveh and levayah are allowed, within prescribed limits. “Fresh air” was cleared for use, though not too much. And, of course, vital activities like “demonstrations.” Obvious ones, like going for medical care or going to work (with restrictions) were also listed.

Parks, playgrounds and beaches are off limits, with exceptions. Zoos, gyms, hair salons, bars and many other non-essential businesses remain closed. But groceries, pharmacies, household supplies, and various other operations were okayed with restrictions.

An Israeli citizen is not required to wear a mask at home, only in public.

To prove they aren’t kidding, the police concluded their message with a section on “Enforcement and Investigation.” This included fines of 5,000 shekels for leaving home without an authorized reason to 500 for “loitering in a prohibited location.”

So far, the police have issued 44,399 tickets according to the following breakdown:

Violations of quarantine and reporting requirements – 278 tickets; disobeying instructions to disperse a forbidden assembly – 1,075 tickets; violations related to operating businesses or shops – 1,088 tickets; going out into the public space in a prohibited manner, in contravention of regulations – 35,283 tickets; loitering in the public space in a prohibited location – 5,092 tickets; prayer in contravention of regulations – 1,183 tickets; and additional prohibitions set out in regulations – 400 tickets.

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