Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday a third national blockade in an effort to combat an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Netanyahu said the new restrictions will begin on Sunday night and will remain in effect for 14 days if the cabinet approves, according to Reuters.
According to the proposed restrictions, travel would be limited, schools would partially close and shops and businesses would close. Residents would also be limited to traveling just a kilometer from their homes, unless they are going to work or buying essential goods such as groceries, Reuters noted.
The nation’s Christian population would be restricted to celebrating Christmas with prayer and worship in meetings of 10 people or less indoors and no more than 100 people outdoors.
The news of the blockade comes as Israel begins to launch its coronavirus vaccine. Netanyahu received the country’s first vaccine on Saturday.
He encouraged others to do the same.
“It was a small blow to a man, a big step for the health of us all. May this be successful. Get out and get vaccinated! “, Netanyahu commented after his shot.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said the country is on track to complete its vaccination campaign in the coming months, Reuters reported.
Israel saw more than 385,000 cases of coronavirus and 3,150 virus-related deaths. The country’s Ministry of Health reported on Wednesday that four people in Israel were infected with the new strain of COVID-19, found for the first time in the United Kingdom, according to the media.