Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Finance Minister Israel Katz and the rest of the members of the Coronavirus Cabinet finally bit the bullet Monday and voted to implement a raft of restrictions aimed at stopping the renewed spread of the novel coronavirus in Israel.
Unpopular a move as it was, the ministers also knew there was no longer any real choice, given the continuing exponential daily rise in the number of new cases of the virus.
Monday’s COVID-19 Statistics
As of Monday, the number of confirmed, active cases of the virus had risen to 6,566 — an increase of 492 in the past 24 hours alone.
A total of 23,989 Israelis have struggled with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and by Monday, 319 had died from the virus, including one new patient in the past day.
The number of seriously ill Israelis — 46 — has increased by 18 percent overnight, with 24 of them requiring ventilator support.
List of New COVID-19 Restrictions
In light of the high morbidity data, the members of the Coronavirus Cabinet voted Monday to approve a number of restrictions:
- Event halls and cultural events limited to 250 maximum attendees
- Bris mila (circumcision) celebrations and funerals limited to 50 maximum attendees
- Houses of worship and other gatherings – up to 50 maximum attendees
- Weddings until July 9 2020 – up to 250 maximum guests
- From 9-31 July 2020 – Up to 250 in attendance in an open area. Indoor venues may be used up to 50% capacity and no more than 100 people.
- Higher education is required to transition to online exams (except for instances agreed to between the Education Ministry and the Council for Higher Education.
- Work in the public sector – 30 percent to work from home (per the arrangements to be determined by the Civil Service Commissioner and with administrative flexibility for Ministry director generals).
IEC Customer Service Via Phone Only
The Israel Electric Company (IEC) also announced Monday that in-person customer services will no longer be available at its branches across the country beginning on Tuesday in deference to its concern over the escalating spread of the novel coronavirus.
IEC said in its announcement that all customer services will be provided instead via telephone.
Clients will be able to make appointments in advance via the “MY VISIT” app, with customer service representatives responding to all inquiries with half an hour.