- Title: Israel, Palestinians tighten restrictions as coronavirus reemerges
- Date: 24th June 2020
- Summary: ELAD, ISRAEL (JUNE 24, 2020) (REUTERS) ULTRA ORTHODOX RESIDENTS OF ELAD BOARDING BUS, WEARING PROTECTIVE MASKS SIGN ON BUS READING (Hebrew) 'AT THE ORDERS OF THE HEALTH MINISTRY IT IS COMPLETELY FORBIDDEN TO BOARD THE BUS WITHOUT A MASK COVERING THE MOUTH AND THE NOSE' PEOPLE BOARDING BUS VARIOUS OF ULTRA ORTHODOX BOYS WEARING MASKS PLAYING IN SCHOOL'S PLAYGROUND VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN TALKING TO SHOP WORKER POLICEMEN IN SHOP, SPEAKING TO WORKER POLICEMAN WALKING OUT OF SHOP AFTER TALKING TO SHOP WORKER (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) OFIR YITZHAKY, 40-YEAR-OLD MEDICAL TECHNICIAN FROM ELAD, SAYING: "I am not at all afraid of anything here. People in the town are disciplined, all wearing masks, not going into shops if there are more people than the Purple Badge (a government standard for business working in the coronavirus era) allows. Everything is working according to the health ministry's instructions so there is nothing to be afraid of." VARIOUS OF POLICEMAN STOPPING CARS TO ASK DRIVERS WHY THEY ENTER THE TOWN, AT A ROADBLOCK SET AT ELAD'S ENTRANCE
- Embargoed: 8th July 2020 11:54
- Keywords: Israel Palestinian Authority coronavirus coronavirus restrictions lockdown pandemic
- Location: ELAD, ISRAEL/ HEBRON AND BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK/ UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: ELAD, ISRAEL/ HEBRON AND BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK/ UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CJQD6IV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Israeli and Palestinian authorities have brought back some coronavirus restrictions after the number of new cases jumped in what officials fear could herald a "second wave" of infections.
A partial lockdown went into effect on Wednesday (June 24) in the town of Elad in central Israel and in several neighbourhoods in the city of Tiberias where infection rates were particularly high.
Businesses and schools in Elad were operating under demand that residents wear protective masks, while policemen were questioning drivers at a roadblock set at the town's entrance.
The Palestinian Authority put the West Bank city of Hebron and a Bethlehem neighbourhood on lockdown as well.
Israel was one of the first countries to close its borders and impose restrictions when the global pandemic first emerged and the Palestinians quickly followed suit.
The campaign took a major economic toll, but it worked. An initial spike of hundreds of daily cases dropped to single digits. Israel has reported 308 fatalities, much less than many developed countries, and three people have died from the virus in the Palestinian territories.
The restrictions have since been gradually eased in a bid to revive businesses that had closed, and with it infection numbers have slowly risen. On Tuesday (June 23), Israel saw 428 new cases and the Palestinians reported 179, the highest number to date.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected more communities would be added to the lockdown list and urged Israelis to follow social distancing guidelines. On Monday (June 22) he gave police the authority to hand out 500 shekel ($146) fines to people not wearing masks in public.
Despite the spike in cases, Israel is unlikely to reimpose a full lockdown, during which unemployment soared. A 100-billion-shekel stimulus plan is already pushing the country's budget deficit in 2020 to an estimated 11% of gross domestic product.
(Production: Rami Amichy, Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh, Yousri al-Jamal, Lianne Back)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None