Sunday, May 31, 2020

Israel to face nationwide lockdown during Passover, Netanyahu announces

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Israel will go into a complete lockdown during the weeklong Passover holiday to counter the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday in a nationwide televised address.

Netanyahu’s announcement comes amid already tough movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli government, with many residents only being able to leave their homes to buy essential items.

“Every family will sit down for Seder night on its own. Celebrate only with the immediate family that’s at home with you now,” he said of the Passover holiday, which begins Wednesday and runs through April 16.

Beginning Tuesday, Israel will also ban movement between cities and residents will not be allowed to leave their homes between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Similar restrictions could be put in place during Easter and Ramadan, Netanyahu said.

However, he added that restrictions could possibly be eased after Passover.

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Israel has 8,904 known COVID-19 cases and nearly 60 deaths. Last week, Netanyahu ordered Israelis to wear masks while out in public.

He went into self-quarantine last week after an aide tested positive for the virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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