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Coronavirus

Israel Tightens Second Lockdown as COVID-19 Cases Soar

September 24, 2020

JERUSALEM — Israel has moved to further tighten its second countrywide lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to soar.

The Cabinet voted early Thursday to close all nonessential businesses, including open-air markets. It agreed that prayers and political demonstrations should be limited to open spaces and no more than 20 people, and that participants would not be able to travel more than a kilometer (0.6 miles) from home to attend either.

The measures are set to go into force on Friday afternoon, as the country shuts down for the weekly Sabbath.

The restrictions on demonstrations are subject to approval by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and the limits on both prayers and protests could spark a backlash.

Israel is currently reporting nearly 7,000 new cases daily, making the outbreak in the country of 9 million people among the worst in the world on a per capita basis.

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