By Marcy Oster
Forty Israeli cities and towns, as well as neighborhoods of Jerusalem and elsewhere, have been placed under nightly curfews to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A ministerial committee tasked with declaring closed areas approved the list on Tuesday. Most of the communities with the 7 p.m. curfews for the next week are Arab and haredi Orthodox.
Along with Jerusalem, Sderot, Eilat, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beit Shemesh are among the cities to have certain neighborhoods with the curfew.
While the mayors of some Arab towns reportedly said they welcomed the curfews, mayors of haredi towns told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that they would not cooperate, throwing the plans into disarray.
Under the curfew, residents will be forbidden from leaving their homes between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., and non-essential businesses will be required to close at 7 p.m., although there will be no restriction on movement in and out of the areas. Schools in the communities will be closed.
The government failed on Sunday and Monday to approve the list of communities designated as “red” because of their high infection rates.
Israel currently has the highest rate of new infections per capita in the world, with an average of 199.3 new cases a day per 1 million residents for the week ending Sept. 2, according to official figures.