Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds up a face mask as he delivers a statement on the coronavirus situation, in Jerusalem Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
07-15-2021 CBN News Jerusalem Emily Jones
JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday that Israel can beat a new surge in coronavirus cases without the need for lockdowns and urged the public to continue social distancing and wearing masks indoors.
He told reporters during a press conference that he has directed police to step up enforcement of mask-wearing indoors to combat the highly contagious Delta variant.
“A citizen in a closed place without a mask will be required to pay a high fine. That’s the fair thing to do, because it’s wrong to have people who are lazy and hurt the rest of the public,” said Bennett.
He also told Israelis to minimize physical contact with people who are not family members and avoid traveling outside of the country.
“I advise Israelis not to fly abroad. Do not fly abroad,” said Bennett.
The prime minister said his government will try to avoid another national lockdown to protect Israel’s economy. But that depends in part on people wearing masks indoors and social distancing.
The number of new coronavirus cases climbed past 700 this week, and most of them are from the Delta variant, according to Health Ministry data. Most of those cases are mild.
Israel has led one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns. Some 5.2 million people have received two doses. Israel also began administering booster shots this week for those with compromised immune systems.
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