Israel returns to virus lockdown as cases mount

Israel returns to virus lockdown as cases mount

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Israel returns to virus lockdown as cases mount

JerusalemPolice tape blocks off an entrance to Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, on the first day of a nationwide three-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Joseph Krauss, The Associated Press
Published Friday, September 18, 2020 2:58PM EDT

JERUSALEM – Israel went back into a full lockdown to try to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has steadily worsened for months as its government has been plagued by infighting.

The three-week lockdown began in the early afternoon on Friday.

It will include the closure of many businesses, strict limits on public gatherings, and will largely confine people to within 1 kilometre – about half a mile – of their homes.

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The closures coincide with the Jewish High Holidays, when people typically visit their families and gather for large prayer services.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that even stricter measures may be needed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

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