Israel means it when they ask citizens to be isolated. Anyone not following the rules will be tracked down like a terrorist. “We are at war with an enemy: the coronavirus,” the prime minister said, “an invisible enemy.”
Israel is going to use counter-terrorism technologies to track coronavirus carriers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday as the government enacted new restrictions including the closure of all restaurants, cafes, and theaters, and called for offices to have employees work from home.
Netanyahu said that he had been given the green light by the Justice Ministry to use Intelligence tracking tools to digitally monitor coronavirus patients without asking them.
The number of coronavirus patients in Israel is currently 193.
Kindergartens, nurseries and daycares and all recreational and leisure establishments will close. Workplaces will remain open, but staff will be asked to work from home. Gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people.
Everyone who has a fever or is coughing must stay home,” Prof. Siegel Sadetzki, head of public health services in Israel said Saturday. “They definitely need to be in isolation – and this means in isolation even from the people they live with at home.”
In response to the closure of cultural establishments, Minister of Culture Miri Regev encouraged these places to look for ways to operate online.
The new restrictions will be in place until after Passover unless the situation changes. And Netanyahu said that more restrictions could also be on the way.
Essential services will continue particularly regarding food, which will continue to arrive in Israel by sea and air – including for the upcoming Passover holiday.
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced new restrictions on public transit, which he said would remain active those new maps would be rolled out according to public demand.
Police have continued to operate to assist the Health Ministry in dealing with people who breach their isolation orders or gather in numbers larger than allowed – formerly 100 people, now 10.
Over the weekend, police checked in on 296 halls, pubs, clubs and restaurants, most of which were adhering to the guidelines. Six businesses violated the guidelines and were summoned by police for hearings.
Police are also currently investigating 20 people suspected of violating home-quarantine orders.
The prime minister stressed the importance of personal hygiene and that people stay a minimum of two meters apart from one another.