Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
People wearing face masks as they walk in downtown Jerusalem.

Effective Sunday (April 12) 7 am, Israelis are also required to wear face masks once they step out the door of their abode, according to the latest set of Health Ministry guidelines approved by the government prior to the start of the Passover holiday.

The restriction does not apply, however, in these cases:
• For children under age 6;
• For anyone with a disability, who has difficulty wearing a mask;
• For those traveling in a vehicle alone or with nuclear family;
• For someone participating in a media broadcast;
• For two employees who routinely sit together, if 2 meters apart.

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Masks can be homemade – and in fact there are numerous creative YouTube videos online showing ways in which they can be tailored to fit any child or adult.

Israel Police acknowledged there would be some “grace” period to the enforcement of the above restriction, realizing it would take some time for the population to adjust to the requirement. Many Israelis have already begun to wear masks, however, knowing how deadly COVID-19 can be.

The Health Ministry also called on the public Saturday night to “continue to partner in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by remaining at home.”

Police are continuing to patrol communities to enforce the 100-meter rule that keeps Israelis within 100 meters of their homes when outside, and limits gatherings to no more than two people who do not live together.

Only those who are employed in an essential capacity are allowed to go to their place of employment at this time, and Israelis are being reminded not to leave their homes except to seek food, medicine and other necessary supplies or services, and then to return directly home.

“As of today, the danger of the coronavirus has not yet passed; only if we all follow the guidelines can we prepare for a gradual exit from the lockdown,” the ministry said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.