From Times of Israel: Israel’s new national closure will not constitute a “full lockdown,” and will be very different from the restrictions of March and April, a top aide to the coronavirus czar said on Monday.

“We need to find a new name for this, because it’s something very different,” said Ran Balicer, head of the expert panel that advises Ronni Gamzu, suggesting the term “social leisure lockdown.”

Ministers approved the new measure during a meeting on Sunday, and decided it will last for three weeks starting on Friday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that under the restrictions, Israelis will be limited from traveling more than 500 meters, but while a general outline of the plan has been released, all exceptions from the rule, and various other details of restrictions, have not yet been finalized.

Business leaders and opposition politicians have warned of dire consequences, but Balicer insisted that in the economic sphere, lots of businesses will stay open and much of the population will still go to work. “In terms of the economy, this is by no means — it’s not even close — to a lockdown,” Balicer, an epidemiologist and executive with the Clalit health maintenance organization, said in a briefing to journalists on Monday. CLICK on here to read more.

Ben Gurion to stay open: Israel’s main air hub, Ben Gurion Airport, will remain open during the upcoming national lockdown and previously approved flights will go forward, ministers decided Monday.

Thus, Israelis who have already purchased tickets will be able to fly, while still available tickets can be sold. However, no new flights will be approved for the closure period. CLICK on here to read more.

Police – checkpoints: Police are planning to set up hundreds of checkpoints across the country and hand out steep fines to enforce the nationwide lockdown set to begin on Friday in a bid to stem the burgeoning spread of the coronavirus in Israel.

The lockdown approved by the cabinet on Sunday night — to begin Friday and last at least three weeks — comes as the country has seen infection rates spiral in the past few weeks, topping 4,000 new daily cases in recent days. Evening curfews had already been ordered in dozens of cities and areas last week.

The new rules will keep Israelis within 500 meters of their homes, except for basic needs like food and medicine or for traveling to “essential” jobs. They will also shutter schools, malls and hotels; curb gatherings; and ban in-person dining at restaurants. Restaurants will be allowed to do deliveries, but not to serve takeaway food, in a further decision announced Monday night. Israel’s soccer and basketball leagues will continue. CLICK on here to read more.

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