Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a tightening of coronavirus restrictions with limitations on public gatherings on Friday, in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The new restrictions limit public gatherings to 10 people is closed spaces and 20 in open spaces.
Netanyahu stressed that these measures will help avoiding «much harsher steps tomorrow».
«Our goal is to flatten the curve, to gain control and to effect a safe exit from this phase, from this wave. We are making every effort to avoid a general lockdown,» he said.
A weekend shutdown is also imposed in Israel, from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. While citizens will be allowed to leave their homes, however shops, museums, zoos and others will be shut down.
Netanyahu is under heavy criticism as several protests against him have been taking place across the country in the past week, as the prime minister is facing increasing public disapproval for his government's management of the COVID-19.
So far, 46,546 people in Israel have tested positive for the coronavirus and 380 people have died with the virus.