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Third lockdown ordered in Israel

Third lockdown ordered in Israel
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced a third national lockdown in an effort to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases.

Netanyahu said that the new restrictions would start on Sunday evening and remain in place for 14 days if the Cabinet approves, according to Reuters.

Under the proposed restrictions, travel would be limited, schools would shut down partially and shops and businesses would close. Residents would also be limited to traveling only 1 kilometer from their homes unless they are commuting to work or buying essential goods, such as groceries, Reuters noted.

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The nation's Christian population would be restricted to celebrating Christmas with prayer and worship in gatherings of 10 people or fewer in indoor spaces and no more than 100 people in outdoor spaces.

News of the lockdown comes just as Israel has begun to roll out its coronavirus vaccine. Netanyahu received the nation's first inoculation Saturday.

He encouraged others to do so as well.

“That was a small jab for a man, a huge step for the health of us all. May this be this successful. Go out and get vaccinated!" Netanyahu remarked following his shot.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that the country is on track to complete its vaccination campaign in the coming months, Reuters reported.

Israel has seen more than 385,000 coronavirus cases and 3,150 virus-related deaths. The nation's Health Ministry on Wednesday reported that four people within Israel had become infected with the new strain of COVID-19 that was first found in the United Kingdom, according to the news outlet.