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Official reportedly warns lockdown could be ordered for Rosh Hashanah

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Israel could be placed under lockdown during the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday in early September, according to an official who attended a Tuesday cabinet meeting on coronavirus policy amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Channel 12 news reported on Wednesday.

The source, who was not identified, reportedly said that if the public is not diligent in keeping the few remaining health orders aimed at curbing infections, a lockdown could be imposed over the Jewish New Year, which this year falls on September 6-8.

Israel has had three nationwide lockdowns since the start of the pandemic, but its widespread vaccination campaign, which has seen a majority of its citizens immunized, was meant to avert future closures.

The television report did not detail what the conditions of such a Rosh Hashanah lockdown might be. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country in March 2020, the government ordered various lockdowns mostly limiting Israelis to staying within a short distance to their home, banning them from visiting the homes of others, and on one occasion, briefly confining citizens to their homes.

Rosh Hashanah and the High Holiday period is marked with crowded prayers at synagogues as well as widespread social gatherings, making the traditional annual practices a danger for virus spread.

Ministers and health officials are said to be divided over how to respond to the recent outbreak that has seen daily COVID-19 cases jump from around two dozen a month ago to over 700 in recent days. The number of seriously ill patients has also been climbing.

Whereas health officials are urging ministers to apply restrictions on public life, the government has instead focused on urging teenagers to get vaccinated and for people to wear face masks indoors, one of the few........

© The Times of Israel

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