Rules for Israel’s new lockdown: What you need to know

Latest effort to curb rise in COVID-19 comes into effect at midnight on Thursday, January 7, and will remain in force for at least two weeks. These are the restrictions

A man closes his shop in Jerusalem on December 27, 2020, as Israel enters its 3rd nationwide lockdown. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A man closes his shop in Jerusalem on December 27, 2020, as Israel enters its 3rd nationwide lockdown. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

With new cases of COVID-19 rising, Israel is entering a stringent lockdown at midnight on Thursday night, for two weeks.

The following is the official text of the rules and restrictions for this lockdown.

Joint Prime Minister’s Office-Health Ministry-Finance Ministry Statement

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry)

Pursuant to the Cabinet decision of Tuesday evening, 5 January 2021, on a tight lockdown to take effect at 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), the Cabinet, yesterday evening (Wednesday, 6 January 2021), in a conference call, approved the Health Ministry regulations, which are in addition to those regulations that are already in effect.

The new regulations and restrictions shall be in effect from 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), until Thursday, 21 January 2021.

Restricted activity – Restriction of exceptions to the prohibition on leaving one’s place of residence:

1. Restriction of gatherings to up to five people in a closed area and up to ten people in an open area (with exceptions for weddings, circumcisions and funerals, that will remain according to the existing rule – ten people in a closed space and 20 in an open space).

2. Restriction of permission to fly from Israel to those who purchased flight tickets starting from the taking effect of the regulations, except for reasons detailed in the regulations or with approval from the Transportation Ministry Director General.

3. Restriction of professional sports activity so that venues for training for premier league games may not be operated except for training only.

4. Cancellation of permission to leave a residence for activity to counter isolation for senior citizens (except for essential social work activity).


1. There is a prohibition on opening educational institutions to learners and employees except for special education and exceptions determined by law.

2. Closed boarding institutions for up to 30 days without the possibility of readmitting pupils who have left the institution.


1. Employees may not enter their places of work except for places of work for which exceptions have been made including those that provide essential and vital services and those engaged in construction or infrastructure work.

2. All employers shall be entitled to allow employees to go to their place work if their presence is necessary for its maintenance or continued functioning. This includes necessary repairs, security, deliveries, payment of wages, etc. Specific instructions were determined for enterprises with special permission to employ workers during hours of rest, security industries, government ministries, local councils, religious councils and institutions of higher education.

3. Lawyers have been added to the list of essential places of work under the regulations in instances where they are representing or preparing to represent clients in court or in other institutions, or are providing essential services to clients that will not admit delay and cannot be performed digitally. Included in the foregoing are employees of the Central Elections Committee and regional elections committees who are working on the upcoming Knesset elections.

4. Employers who meet the various conditions and continue to operate will do so under the purple badge standard.

* A list of work sectors for which exceptions have been made will be published on the Finance Ministry website.


Occupancy on public transportation will be reduced to 50% of capacity (including on buses)

Participation in political party primary elections:

1. Person voting in political party primary elections may leave their residences to do so. The foregoing includes candidates and service providers on behalf of candidates or parties, in order to prepare for Knesset and political party primary elections.

2. Polling places for political party primary elections may be operated.

3. People entering polling place locations will not be asked about the existence of symptoms that do not require quarantine so as not to impair their right to vote because of these symptoms. There will be no questioning of those arriving at designated polling places for people under quarantine.


Reminder of currently existing restrictions that are also valid during the aforementioned 14-day lockdown:

1. Restrictions on going out from one’s place of residence beyond 1,000 meters, apart from exceptions such as going out to be vaccinated, receive medical treatment or social work care, attend a demonstration or legal proceeding, do individual exercise (without use of a vehicle), transferring a minor between separated parents, going to a permitted place of work or to permitted educational activity, or going out to attend a funeral, wedding or circumcision (subject to the restrictions on gatherings).

Fine for violation: NIS 500.

2. A prohibition on leaving one’s place of residence in order to be present in another person’s place of residence.

3. Closure of public and commercial places except for essential stores: Food, hygiene, optical, pharmacies, and electric products and products that are necessary for essential home repairs.

4. Closure of guest units and b&b’s, zoos, safari parks and nature reserves, national parks, national and commemorative sites, places for giving non-medical treatment including beauty and cosmetics treatment, places for giving complementary medical treatment, drive-in cinemas, malls, markets and museums. The option of opening an eating establishment for pick-up service is cancelled.

5. Practical driving lessons are cancelled; organizing – or participating in – an organized hike is prohibited.

6. Take-away service is prohibited; delivery service is permitted.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: [email protected]
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.