Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers an speech at his Jerusalem office on March 14, 2020, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the Corona virus in Israel. - Netanyahu said Israel would shut down eateries, shopping centres and gyms in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. Netanyahu also said he would ask the government's approval in the upcoming cabinet meeting set to be held via video conference to allow "technologies used in the war against terror" to be used to track the movements of Israelis with coronavirus. (Photo by GALI TIBBON / POOL / AFP)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the Israeli government will later on Thursday approve orders to make the state of emergency declared by the Health Ministry legally binding.

The move effectively enforces a lockdown on Israel for the first time since the days of the country’s establishment.

“The government will approve tonight emergency regulations to limit movement. You are ordered to stay at home… This isn’t a request, this isn’t a recommendation, but an order that will be enforced.”

“if anyone thinks I’m exaggerating, look at the pictures of what is happening in Spain and Italy” where “teams are piling the dead into special vehicles. That must not happen here. We have to do everything to ensure it doesn’t happen.”

As part of the orders, Israelis will still be allowed to leave their homes to purchase food or medicine. The rules mandate that a person not leave their home at all except for one of the following reasons:

1) Going to or from work
2) Buying food, medicines and necessary products and receiving necessary services
3) Receiving medical services
4) Blood donations
5) Demonstrations
6) Unorganized sports of up to 5 people
7) Exiting a residence by an individual or people living in the same place for a short time and close to home
8) Leaving for a religious ceremony including a wedding or funeral or for prayers
9) Leaving to help a person who due to his age, medical issues or disability needs help
10) Leaving for a necessary reason not detailed in articles 1-9

Rules of behavior in public:

1) Keep a distance of at least 2 meters between people as much as possible, except people living in the same place
2) Up to 2 passengers in a private car, except for people living in the same place. Does not include a worker in an essential job.

Deliveries must be left outside the door.

None of the following businesses can be open:

1) Malls or shopping centers of 10 or more stores except for places selling food or hygiene products or pharmacies
2) All cultural institutions including discotheques, bars, pubs, event halls, gyms, swimming pools, water parks, zoos, safaris, petting zoos, bathhouses, movie theaters, theaters, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions, amusement parks, non-medical bodily therapy (like massages I guess?), places for holding shows and fairs, public boats, cable cars, nature reserves, national parks, heritage sites, and tourist attractions.

The following businesses can operate:

1) Restaurants can sell food to be eaten off the premises.
2) Places to sell food, pharmacies, stores meant mainly to sell hygiene products
a) The store’s management must try to keep people 2 meters apart if they don’t live together and mark places to wait on line
b) Avoid crowding in the stores and stagger entry of visitors

Any store not mentioned in 1 and 2 have to follow the rules in number 2 if they’re open.

Enforcement:

Managers and owners of a store or business who break the law can go to prison for six months or have to pay a fine.

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