The coronavirus cabinet meeting held on Sunday following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that restrictions will likely be approved in light of the uptick in coronavirus cases in recent weeks ended with no decisions made as most ministers vehemently opposed any restrictions. The cabinet will meet again on Monday.
At the meeting, a health ministry official pushed for even tighter restrictions than were previously mentioned, including reducing the number of people allowed at weddings to 50 (and not 150) and gatherings to 20, allowing minyanim only in open areas, and limiting summer camps to capsules.
However, Finance Minister Yisrael Katz is vehemently opposed to implementing the restrictions that the health ministry is pushing, especially limiting the number of people at events, saying that it will harm the economy. Most ministers at the meeting agreed with him saying that the government should focus on enforcement rather than restrictions and that “the intention to close event halls and limit summer camps to capsules is a disproportionate response.”
Ministers expressed the view that the health ministry’s demands are exaggerated and that they disagree with the significance of the health ministry’s data
A recommendation by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Higher Education Minister Ze’ev Elkin to allow university students to take their final exams remotely in order to avoid infection was brought up but no decision was made on that either.
Following the meeting, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said: “The prime minister instructed the coronavirus cabinet to reduce the epidemiological investigation process time from the moment of the patient’s identification until the quarantine of all his contacts to 48 hours. The prime minister also instructed the cabinet to reduce the time from the moment of a referral for a coronavirus test until it is performed to 12 hours.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)