Late on Sunday, September 6, the Ministerial Committee on Declaring Restricted Zones voted to approve a nightly curfew between 19:00 to 05:00 (local time) in 40 'red' cities across Israel. The measure will come into effect from 19:00 on Monday, September 7, in the areas worst-hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with a detailed list of affected areas expected to be released on Monday morning. In areas where the measures apply, all schools with the exception of preschools and special education will be closed and gatherings will be limited to ten people in closed spaces and 20 in open spaces. Non-essential businesses will be required to close during curfew hours. However, entering and exiting these cities will be not be restricted. The measures will initially be in effect for two weeks, but the measures preclude any additional lockdown measures that may be imposed during the Rosh Hashanah holiday from September 18-20.
The measures are being introduced by the government in response to a worrying rise in COVID-19 cases in Israel, with the Ministry of Health reporting 1708 new cases on Sunday. This brings the total number of cases recorded so far to 130,644, with 1019 associated deaths.
Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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