Israel will enter a second lockdown, becoming the only developed country that chose to shut down entirely again. The reopening and the attempts to start the economy again has resulted in a lot of infections in such a short time.
The minister has approved a period of time of two weeks of lockdown, and then two more weeks of strict limits on economic activity and movement. And if the situation improves after that, the restrictions will only be applied to those communities that present large outbreaks. The plan needs to be approved by the full cabinet soon, and it will probably have to deal with the opposition from some other ministers. The inner cabinet has watched the rise of the daily cases starting with 5 cases in May and continuing with more than 4000 only this week. The lockdown is supposed to start on Friday, according to some sources.
The economy would be destroyed – one-fifth of the labor force still has no work, even if the country has reopened in May. A long lockdown – of about a month – would cost the economy of the country about 15 billion shekels (that’s $4.4 billion).
As per the Bank of Israel, the economy would contract 7% this year if there is a surge in the disease. The 2020 government deficit is thought to be as high as 14.6%. At this moment, a new lockdown would be chaos for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition. It was formed back in May exactly for the reason of tackling another virus outbreak after a steady situation. For the country to get back to normal, they had to forget about the cautious measures, thing that allowed cases to rise.