Health Minister Warns of Lockdown Over Chagim

israel covid lockdown
Health Minister and Meretz party chairman, Nitzan Horowitz. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli officials continued on Wednesday to warn that if the public doesn’t obey the health regulations, a national lockdown on the chagim ,ight be the result.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said it would be “a last resort” but could be implemented if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

“If we seem to be getting to a point where there is no choice left, we will have to do it. But this is not a matter of fate. If we follow the guidelines (masks, vaccines and quarantines), then we may be able to avoid lockdowns,” Horowitz was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.

Horowitz’s warning followed similar statements by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Ministry Director General Nahman Ash and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked earlier this week.

Regarding schools, he said that they are still scheduled “to properly open” on September 1, as planned.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry figures show that over 200,000 Israelis have received a third coronavirus vaccine shot since the start of the campaign this week, a thunderous response to official appeals.

Israel began administering COVID vaccine booster doses to the immunosuppressed last month, and rolled them out to all Israelis over age 60 on Sunday.

In total, 205,567 people have been given the booster shot, according to the Health Ministry, with 5,385,062 people having received two vaccine shots and 5,794,741 people having received just one.

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