Third of Israelis Vaccinated for COVID, Cabinet to Debate Purim Curfew

Israel's Health Ministry wants ministers to adopt a proposal for an overnight curfew starting Thursday to avoid COVID violations during the holiday

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Shopping for costumes at a second-hand shop in Jerusalem, this week
Shopping for costumes at a second-hand shop in Jerusalem, this weekCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg

As Israel's vaccination campaign reaches a new milestone with a third of Israelis having received both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Health Ministry figures, the cabinet is slated to deliberate on Tuesday proposed restrictions for the Purim holiday, which begins on Thursday evening.

3,051,107 Israelis have received both shots of the vaccine, representing 33 percent of the overall population, with more than 51,000 people receiving their second dose on Monday.

How the JNF's Blue Box settled beyond the Green Line - LISTEN

In addition, around 1.4 million Israelis have received the first jab, and are awaiting the second one.

Over the next two weeks, Israel is expected to receive its final shipments of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine: 1.5 million doses of the 10 million dose figure agreed to in the deal reached by the government and the pharmaceutical giant, that is, enough to fully inoculate about five million Israelis.

According to sources in Israeli health maintenance organizations, the timetable for the shipments is not likely to affect the timing of the vaccination campaign or appointments.

The cabinet meeting on holiday restrictions was originally scheduled for Monday, but postponed to Tuesday afternoon.

The Health Ministry is expected to recommend that ministers adopt a proposal for an overnight curfew that would take effect from 8 P.M. to 5 A.M. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (ending Sunday morning).

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “We should do everything to go through the holiday with as little infection and as few deaths as possible,” adding that authorities “must prevent” parties and other gatherings.

In an interview with Kan Bet public radio, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that the cabinet received updates on a spike in alcohol sales and event invitations on social media to celebrate the festival on Thursday evening.

“To my great regret, I think there’s no escaping restrictions,” he said. In weighing the options, Edelstein said that “a night curfew” was in the cards, in order to allow people to hear the reading of the megillah while preventing parties afterward.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott