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September 29, 2020 10:10 am

Israeli Treasury: Lockdown Will Cost ‘Only’ $3.4 Billion, Not $5.7 Billion as Originally Projected

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

A bartender and customers wear face masks to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a bar in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

JNS.org – Israel’s Finance Ministry on Tuesday issued an updated projection for the economic impact of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown currently in effect, from NIS 20 billion ($5.7 billion) down to about NIS 12 billion ($3.4 billion).

According to Finance Ministry Chief Economist Shira Greenberg, the government’s decision to include more industries in the list of “essential” occupations, effectively allowing them to operate in a reduced capacity rather than shuttering them, has mitigated the lockdown’s overall cost to the economy.

She did, however, caution that any extension of the lockdown will require the Treasury to again revise its projections.

To further mitigate the economic fallout of the lockdown, the ministry’s Budgets Division has been able to broker a deal with the Histadrut labor federation according to which all non-essential public sector employees will go on organized leave for the duration of the High Holidays.

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