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March 17, 2020 2:06 pm
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In New Directives, Health Ministry Urges Israelis to Remain at Home

avatar by Algemeiner Staff and Agencies

A man sits at an outdoor gym by the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv, March 17, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Corinna Kern.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Israel’s Health Ministry published new directives on Tuesday telling people to largely remain at home, except if they were seeking “vital needs and services.”

The directives added beaches and parks to a list of places — including schools, shopping malls, restaurants and theaters — that have been closed to the public.

No more than 10 people are supposed to gather together.

But it said Israelis could still go to work — many businesses are operating with reduced staff to try to halt the virus’s spread — shop for food and medicine, exercise outdoors and walk their dogs.

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“Even when leaving the house for these purposes, contact between people should be limited and they should stay two meters apart,” the ministry said.

It was not immediately clear if police would be enforcing the tightened restrictions.

Also on Tuesday, Israel’s Transportation Ministry announced it was reducing hours of operation for the country’s public transit network and cutting some bus and train routes.

There are 324 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel.

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