Details are still being worked out, but the closure itself has been agreed upon — despite even hospital directors being divided on the need for this. The cabinet was basically told by the health minister, Yuli Edelstein, “this is the plan, take it or leave it, I won’t prepare another”. Meeting was stormy, with Netanyahu, Edelstein, and coronavirus czar Prof. Roni Gamzu all getting lambasted. (Gamzu has been fighting a rearguard battle against full closure for as long as he’s been in the position: what swayed him this time around is not clear.)
The timing is effectively over the High Holidays (Rosh HaShana/Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot). This will somewhat mitigate economic damage, as so much of the economy shuts down on these holidays anyhow. The usual pre-Rosh HaShana shopping will not be affected as the closure begins effectively on the afternoon of our weekend. Essential stores (food, medicine,…) will be exempt from the closure (as last time).
The Times of Israel liveblog has more. Developing…]
Gathering – up to 10 people in closed spaces, 20 in open > Restrictions on travel – up to 500 meters from home
>Public sector will operate with less staff
> Private sector as usual – those that do not accept the public
> Education system – closed
> A special outline for High Holiday prayers
> Grocery stories, pharmacies – open
In related news, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has resigned, ostensibly in protest against the closure, but in fact because of two indictments against him. I honestly cannot say I will miss him.
UPDATE: more Times Of Israel coverage