Health Ministry to Recommend Reimposing Restrictions on Crowds Over Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Health Ministry will recommend limiting crowds at banquets, bars and restaurants to only 50 people, and reducing the number of people permitted at houses of worship to up to 20

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Crowds of people visit the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv during the coronavirus crisis, Tel Aviv, June 29, 2020
Crowds of people visit the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv during the coronavirus crisis, Tel Aviv, June 29, 2020Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

The coronavirus cabinet is meeting on Thursday to discuss reimposing some restrictions amid a severe spike in coronavirus cases. The Health Ministry will recommend limiting crowds at banquets, bars and restaurants to only 50 people, as well as reducing the number of people at houses of worship to up to 20 people.

This comes amid the tightening of restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country.

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Israeli ministers on Thursday approved restrictions on neighborhoods in the cities of Ashdod and Lod where a large number of virus cases  were discovered, declaring them "restricted zones."

Movement in and out of these zones will be restricted and business activity will be limited for a week.

On Wednesday, 1,013 coronavirus cases were diagnosed, according to data released by the Health Ministry. This was the highest number of daily cases recorded since the outbreak of the virus in Israel.

Also on Wednesday overnight, the city of Bnei Brak announced that the area around a local yeshiva has been put on total lockdown after 47 people connected to it were diagnosed with the coronavirus over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Knesset passed temporary legislation allowing for digital tracking of coronavirus patients by the Shin Bet security service after two votes on Wednesday in an attempt to curb the recent peak in cases.

26,257 people in Israel have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; and 322 people have died of the virus.

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