Israel to ban flights and gatherings until September, says senior official

Israel to ban flights and gatherings until September, says senior official
Restrictions may soon begin to ease, however flights and gatherings will be banned until at least September, senior Israeli officials told local media.
2 min read
11 April, 2020
Israel has already imposed sweeping restrictions on air travel [Getty]
Regular flights and gatherings will remain banned in Israel until September as part of the coronavirus lockdown, senior government officials told the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot.

Although the government may start easing some restrictions after the Passover holiday ends next week, such measures will be gradual.

For example, some workplaces will reopen while maintaining hygiene precautions and social distancing, and school students could be allowed back in a shift pattern.

Shopping centres could soon open, but restaurants would remain shut, and hairdressers and other beauty practitioners could resume business while using protective gear such as masks.

Read also: In-depth: Israel's coronavirus coup: Netanyahu's tightening grip on power bodes badly for Palestinians

The news comes as Prime Minister Netanyahu said all flights to Israel will soon be stopped, only to be resumed when the military is able to transfer all incoming travellers to supervised isolation facilities. 

The Israeli government has been swift to enact lockdown measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus since the first residents became infected.

Authorities have been using tracking, surveillance and enforcement techniques previously reserved only for Palestinians living under occupation.

On Friday, 10 soldiers were handed 10-day prison sentences and dismissed from their training after they gathered to celebrate Passover on Wednesday evening.

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