Caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Monday announced another 36-hour curfew, preventing Israelis from going out shopping in large numbers and celebrating festive dinners with extended family during the last two days of the one-week Jewish Passover holiday.
“During the curfew from Tuesday 5 pm (1500 GMT) until Thursday 5 am (0300 GMT), it is compulsory to stay within the limits of your cities and communities,” Netanyahu told citizens in a televised news conference.
“I warn against complacency,” Netanyahu said, asking Israelis to continue to take Health Ministry restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus seriously.
He also asked people to celebrate the festive Tuesday night dinner that caps the one-week holiday only within the nuclear family.
To prevent a repetition of a mass outbreak of coronavirus that followed the Purim holiday in early March, Israelis had been told to adhere to an even stricter curfew last week for the first days of Passover.
The Passover commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Bible.
They had not been allowed to leave a radius of 100 metres around their homes from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning last week, and their neighbourhoods from Tuesday afternoon until early last Friday.
Netanyahu also announced that bakeries would not be allowed to open immediately after Passover ends at sunset on Wednesday. Observing Jews do not eat bread during Pesah, the Hebrew word for Passover, and bakeries are normally packed as soon as the holiday ends. (dpa/NAN)