a police officer in a facemask speaks to an orthodox man in black suit and black hat but no facemask
Israeli police officer speaks to a haredi Orthodox student in Bnei Brak, Israel, April 2, 2020. (Photo/JTA-Jack Guez-AFP-Getty Images)

Israel enters second lockdown to stop record spread of coronavirus

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Thousands of police officers and soldiers in Israel on Friday began imposing the country’s second lockdown due to the coronavirus.

The number of Covid-19 cases has skyrocketed to record levels in recent weeks.

The lockdown, which went into effect Friday and is the first time that a Western country has imposed a second nationwide confinement order, is scheduled to last until Oct. 2 at the earliest.

Police have set up 38 roadblocks and checkpoints in an operation they are calling “Triumphant Responsibility.”

Pedestrian and vehicular traffic in large cities, including Jerusalem, was normal just before the lockdown went into effect at 2 p.m. local time, Ynet reported, because residents had stocked up on supplies in the days before the lockdown, which was announced over a week ago.

Its first day coincides with the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the first of the High Holidays. The High Holiday season, including Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, ends on Oct. 11.

During the lockdown, residents are required to stay within 1,000 yard of their homes and refrain from staying at other homes or beaches, except for exercise. A maximum of 10 people may gather in closed spaces, including synagogues, and 20 in open ones as long as they adhere to social distancing protocol. Schools are shut down except for special education institutions.

Employees who cannot perform their professional duties remotely may travel to work but cannot receive non-employees there.

Restaurants may provide takeout orders but are closed to the public, as are swimming pools, gyms and theaters. Pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open.

Cnaan Liphshiz, Netherlands-based Europe Correspondent for JTA
Cnaan Liphshiz

JTA Europe correspondent


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.