Israel faces national foreclosure during Passover, Netanyahu announces

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Israel will enter into a full lockdown during Easter week to counter the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday in a national television address.

Netanyahu’s announcement comes amid already severe movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli government, with many residents only able to leave their homes to buy essential items.

“Each family sits alone for Seder night. Celebrate only with the immediate family who is at home with you now, ”he said of the Passover holiday, which begins on Wednesday and ends on April 16.

As of Tuesday, Israel will also ban travel between cities and residents will not be allowed to leave their homes between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Similar restrictions could be put in place during Easter and Ramadan, said Netanyahu.

However, he added that the restrictions could eventually be relaxed after Passover.

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Israel has 8,904 known cases of COVID-19 and nearly 60 deaths. Last week Netanyahu ordered the Israelis to wear masks while in public.

He went into auto-quarantine last week after an assistant tested positive for the virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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