Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters after a meeting of the Corona Cabinet on Monday that it was decided to “hit the emergency brake” on easing restrictions that were planned in the coming days.
The cabinet members heard a briefing by experts, Netanyahu said, who showed the ministers “there has been a very steep increase in morbidity” — seriously unwelcome news when trying to plan the next step in reopening the nation’s economy.
“It could be that we are already seeing the doubling of the rate of infection within ten days,” the prime minister said. “I very much hope not.”
What the cabinet decided to do first of all, he said, “is to hit the emergency brake. We stopped all of the measures to ease restrictions that we were going to apply in the coming days. We will check this again next week.”
One important exception, however, was the event halls, Netanyahu said. Weddings, bar mitzvahs and other joyous occasions can continue — for now.
“We will allow them to operate according to the directives of the Health Ministry and we will report to you later on,” the prime minister said.
“The main thing that all the experts emphasized is that we must keep the three rules: Wearing masks, keeping two meters’ distance and hygiene – washing hands.”
Netanyahu emphasized — as he has at each briefing — “I ask you: for our economy, for our health and for the lives of us all – please follow the rules.”