The Israel Police has stepped up its enforcement of the nationwide lockdown, which was imposed due to skyrocketing coronavirus infections, saying Wednesday that officers had almost doubled the daily number of fines issued for breaking the rules.
Police said 3,570 fines were issued in the 24 hours between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon. In the previous 24 hours, only some 2,000 fines were handed out around the country.
According to the data, 2,134 of the fines were issued for traveling more than a kilometer away from home in violation of the rules. Another 1,179 fines were given for failing to wear face masks, and 67 were for breaching quarantine.
Additionally, 57 fines were handed to businesses violating the rules in various ways, and 109 tickets were slapped on people who were in public places and businesses whose operations are currently banned.
Police officers visited more than 3,000 businesses to inspect their level of adherence to the rules. They issued 209 warnings, and in 106 cases, broke up overcrowding. They also visited the homes of 568 COVID-19 patients and some 2,000 people in quarantine to check they were isolating.
הלילה ביישוב אזור:
מסיבת יום הולדת רבת משתתפים במכון לשטיפת רכב.
שוטרים הוזעקו למקום ורשמו 50 דוחות. אחד המשתתפים היה אמור להיות בבידוד pic.twitter.com/WXWIAj0gPi
— רועי ינובסקי (@Roi_Yanovsky) September 30, 2020
Police said they stopped a birthday party that was taking place illegally in a car wash facility next to Azor, a small town near Tel Aviv. Officers arrived after receiving a tip and saw dozens of people not socially distancing or wearing masks.
More than 50 fines were handed to the participants. Six guests were arrested and questioned under caution, and criminal proceedings were initiated against the owner of the car wash business.
In a statement, police said they would “open a criminal investigation against citizens who choose to knowingly ignore Health Ministry instructions, while only considering their own benefit and trying to deceive law enforcement authorities.”
Israel’s second lockdown, which started on September 18, has been less stringent than the country’s first earlier this year, despite cases and deaths soaring daily. The public has accordingly been reported to be taking a more lax approach to the limitations.