Israel on Friday imposed a new national coronavirus lockdown, the country’s second this year.
The closure, marking the first time in the world an advanced country has imposed a repeat closure to curb the pandemic, went into effect hours before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and will extend through other key religious holidays, including Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
As the closure came into effect at 2 p.m., Israel’s roads, markets and beaches slowly emptied. Some 7,000 policemen and soldiers, backed up by local municipality personnel, deployed throughout the country to enforce the closure using roadblocks and patrols.
Under the new lockdown, nearly all businesses open to the public will be closed. People must remain within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of home, but there are numerous exceptions, including shopping for food or medicine, going to work, attending protests and even seeking essential pet care. The public is also allowed to attend funerals or circumcision ceremonies, to exercise and more — all under strict limitations.