Israel’s Lockdown Likely to Be Eased Next Week

Police guard at a temporary road block in Yerushalayim last week, during a nationwide lockdown. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Despite the lockdown’s probable easing, Israel’s Coronavirus Czar Ronni Gamzu is expected to demand keeping full lockdown in areas with high infection rates.

The meeting planned for Tuesday afternoon has been postponed and will likely be rescheduled for Thursday, allowing more time for the collection of data. The result will hopefully indicate a clear drop-off in coronavirus infection rates, hoped for by the Health Ministry. In Yerushalayim, data already show a lowering of 40% in infection rates. The easing of restrictions will take place over a number of months, expected to start next week with the lifting of the 1,000-meter limit on nonessential travel, and permission for private-sector businesses to operate.

Gamzu is backing plans to reintroduce differential restrictions, based on the “traffic light plan.” If implemented, his plan would see many chareidi population centers remaining under full lockdown, including Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit, Beitar Illit, parts of Yerushalayim and Beit Shemesh, Elad, and Rechasim.