Israel to impose night curfew to curb COVID-19 spread

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet approved on Monday a nighttime curfew following the recent resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

The three-week-long curfew will begin on Wednesday, a day before the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and will last until Jan. 2, according to a government statement.

“During the curfew, commercial activity will be prohibited and restrictions on the movement between different areas will be imposed,” the statement read.

In addition, the government said “steps will be taken to tighten the enforcement and impose increased fines” on people who violate the curfew.

It was also decided that passengers returning from abroad would be required to undergo a coronavirus test at the airport as a condition for entering quarantine at home. Those who refuse to take the test would be required to enter quarantine at hotels.

Despite the night curfew, tourist sites in the Dead Sea and in the southern resort city of Eilat will continue to operate regularly, under the definition of “green islands.”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel is “at the start of a third wave.” He said that COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer “are underway.”

The Israeli government has already imposed two nationwide lockdowns in an attempt to curb the virus outbreak. On Oct. 18, the country came out of a month-long lockdown, and gradually reopened schools and businesses.