Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning with a discussion of the state of the battle against the new eruptions of coronavirus infections in Israel:
Over the weekend, I held a consultation on the sharp increase in corona morbidity. This morning, I asked to convene all of the director generals of the relevant ministries, and from the Federation of Local Authorities, along with the head of the National Security Council and various experts, who gave their evaluations. They gave me various forecasts from different agencies, and these forecasts were all harsh. We must flatten the curve now.
Tomorrow, I will convene the Corona Cabinet and we will discuss the necessary steps to block the spread of the pandemic. If we do not immediately change our behavior regarding masks and maintaining distance, we will bring upon ourselves – against our will – the return of the shutdowns. None of us wants this; therefore, I call upon you, citizens of Israel, to wear masks and maintain distance.
At the same time, we are making every effort to find a vaccine. This is part of the international efforts, including here in the country at the Israel Institute for Biological Research and including our investment in Moderna. There is a welcome race and we certainly hope that someone succeeds. However, until then, we have no choice and no alternative but to keep to a responsible and sagacious policy so that we will be able to continue opening up our economy and conduct our lives in a reasonable manner in the corona routine. Wear masks, maintain distance. We will discuss this further during the week.
The PM also discussed steps to be taken to meet the economic hardships endured by Israelis during the pandemic:
Today, the Cabinet will approve a decision to extend the up-to-NIS 4,000 grant to those 67 and older who have stopped working. We are also providing economic assistance to young people; we will decide today to allow discharged soldiers to withdraw part of their deposit for any purpose, whenever they want.
These decisions are but a small part of the major economic assistance plan that we have brought for the citizens of Israel. We will do everything to help the economy continue to recover.
Today, we will allocate over NIS 50 million to develop and advance tourism in Tiberias. This is a plan that includes grants to small businesses, a comprehensive construction plan for tourism development, providing incentives for improving hotels and budgets for municipal development. I hope that we will thereby move Tiberias forward and encourage both tourism and its economy.