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Israel enters second nationwide shutdown as coronavirus cases rise



Israel will enter its second nationwide lockdown this week to stave off a recent rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday.

The tightening of measures begins Friday, the start of the Jewish holiday season, and lasts for three weeks. Schools, restaurants, shopping malls and hotels are closing among other businesses, and Israelis are facing restrictions on movement and gatherings.

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“I know these measures will require a high price for all of us,” Netanyahu said in a nationally-broadcast broadcast. “This is not the kind of holiday we are used to. And we certainly will not be able to celebrate with our extended families. ”

Officials can relax the new measures if the number is seen declining.

Israel is the first country in the world to go into a full second lockdown, according to the Times of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at a briefing on coronavirus development in Israel at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 13, 2020. Netanyahu announced that a new nationwide lockdown will be imposed amid a shocking increase in coronavirus cases involving schools and parts of economy is expected to close in an attempt to reduce infection rates.  (Alex Kolomiensky / Yedioth Ahronoth via AP, Pool)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at a briefing on coronavirus development in Israel at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 13, 2020. Netanyahu announced that a new nationwide lockdown will be imposed amid a shocking increase in coronavirus cases involving schools and parts of economy is expected to close in an attempt to reduce infection rates. (Alex Kolomiensky / Yedioth Ahronoth via AP, Pool)

The first lockout went into effect in April, when the virus first arrived. While credited for bringing down the much lower infection rates, the prolonged shutdown created chaos in the country’s economy and sent unemployment into the air.

Israel’s finance ministry said the new lockdown will cost the economy an estimated $ 1.88 billion, Reuters reported.

While initially praised for the rapid response to closing the country’s borders, Netanyahu has since been blamed for opening businesses and schools too quickly and allowing the virus to spread unchecked.

Israel has had more than 150,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 1,100 deaths.

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It currently sees more than 4,000 daily cases of the virus. Considering its population of 9 million, the country now has one of the worst outbreaks in the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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