Israel has become the first country in the world to announce a second national coronavirus lockdown
Responding to a soaring infection and death rate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the decision in a late night TV news conference.
This national lockdown will last for three weeks and will come into effect at 2pm on Friday, 18 September – coinciding with a major Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana.
“I know these steps are a heavy price for us all,” said Netanyahu.
“These are not the holidays we are used to. We certainly won’t be able to celebrate with our extended families.”
Responding to critical questions, Netanyahu defended his leadership through the global crisis saying: “If we keep the rules, and I am confident in this, we will defeat the virus. I see the vaccine on the way, and I see the fast testing that is on the way.”
Israel currently has one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the world per capita, with 37,482 active cases.