In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday evening that beginning Wednesday, a new curfew will be enforced across the Holy Land for Passover.
“On Wednesday, before the Passover seder, everyone will remain at their home starting at 6:00 pm until the next day at 7:00 am,” Netanyahu said in a statement, CBN News reports.
“I know that this is very onerous but there is simply no choice. We will strictly enforce the lockdown,” he added.
According to the New York Times, for this duration, residents are required to remain in their homes without any visitors, including immediate family.
The Prime Minister then recalled the mass gatherings that occurred during Purim holiday celebrations last month and noted that the Passover restrictions were being introduced to avoid further spread of the virus during Passover, which, like Purim, traditionally elicits large gatherings.
“We saw what happened one month ago with the events of Purim holiday. The virus contagion had spread in broad circles. I say here in the clearest way possible: Passover will not be Purim,” he asserted.
According to the New York Times, the Israeli government will also be enforcing bans on travel within the country during Holy Week.
Reportedly, between 7:00 pm Tuesday and 6:00 am Friday, all travel between cities is banned in Israel.
In addition to the Passover restrictions, the Israeli government is also enforcing restrictive measures that require residents to stay within 100 meters of their homes, barring food and medical supplies shopping and other essential trips.
Netanyahu did offer a glimmer of hope, however, suggesting that the virus’ rate of spread in Israel is slowing which could allow for restrictions to slowly begin to be lifted following Passover.
“I am pleased to inform you that there are positive signs on the horizon. We are moving forward with preparations for the scenarios regarding the exit from the crisis,” the Prime Minister said.
At the time of this writing, Israel has 9,006 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 62 deaths and 683 recoveries.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John Theodor
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.