Israel makes masks in public compulsory

Israel makes masks in public compulsory
  • Clock-gray 01:39
  • calendar-gray 08 April 2020

The Israeli government issued orders on Tuesday making the wearing of masks in public compulsory to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus, APA reports citing Reuters.

It also approved a timeline for tightened travel restrictions for the Passover holiday, which begins on Wednesday when Jewish families gather for the festive “seder” meal commemorating the Biblical exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that this year, the dinner should be a small affair, limited to household members, in a bid to keep infection rates in check.

Netanyahu last week urged Israelis to wear masks while in public, a measure the government said would become compulsory as of Sunday. Children under the age of six, the mentally disabled or those alone in vehicles or workplaces are exempted. The government said masks could be homemade.

From Tuesday evening until Friday morning, a ban on unnecessary out-of-town travel will be in place, effectively preventing large gatherings of family and friends for the seder meals.

From 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a few hours before the meal gets underway, until 7 a.m. on Thursday, food shopping within towns will also be forbidden, in a tightened lockdown. Israelis are already banned from moving more than 100 metres (yards) for home except for visits to grocery stores and pharmacies, and travel to work.

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