Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting of his coronavirus cabinet on Wednesday that the exit from the COVID-19 lockdown is expected to last six to 12 months.
“The exit from this lockdown will be slow and gradual and it can last from half a year to a year,” he said.
Local media also reported that the prime minister called for further restrictions by banning residents from moving more than 200 meters from their homes. The current restrictions set the limit at 1,000 meters.
Israel imposed a three-week nationwide lockdown on Sept. 18. It was the second nationwide lockdown imposed since the first virus outbreak in February.
The lockdown took an economic toll, with more than 900,000 unemployed reported on Wednesday, almost a quarter of the Israeli workforce, according to official figures issued by the country’s Employment Service.