Israel Police to Carry Out Weekend Coronavirus Enforcement Operation as Cases Rise

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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The police enforce the coronavirus restrictions in Jerusalem, July 2, 2020
The police enforce the coronavirus restrictions in Jerusalem, July 2, 2020Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The Israel Police announced on Thursday that they will carry out a nationwide operation over the weekend to enforce coronavirus regulations to curb the recent rise in virus cases, as the government is set to discuss limiting the number of people allowed in venues and at events. 

The main focus of the police will be to enforce limitations on the number of patrons at venues, and the wearing of masks, the police said, adding that they will center their efforts on venues holding weddings and private social events and on areas desginated "restricted," Lod and Ashdod. 

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The focus will be one venue owners, rather than patrons, the police said. "The intention is not to give fines in the middle of the dance floor," a senior police official said. However, police intend to take a "heavy hand" on enformecement in the coming days.

"In the restricted areas, we will work with the utmost severity and intensity," says the chief of the police operations Department, Commander Yishai Shalem. 

The police issue a fine for not wearing a mask, Jerusalem, June 30, 2020Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

An average of about 3,000 fines are given for not wearing a mask every day, the police said. Meanwhile, about 7,000 fines have been issued to business owners over the past week for breaching coronavirus regulations. 

The coronavirus cabinet will meet 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 cases continue to rise in the country.

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.

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

Ido Efrati contributed to this report.

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