Israel approves tighter Covid-19 restrictions. Image Source: IANS News

Tel Aviv, Sep 24 : The Israeli government on Thursday approved tightened coronavirus restrictions, including a full lockdown which will begin on Friday and last until October 11.

Under the new closure, all businesses will be shut down except for factories and services that will be defined as "essentials", Xinhua news agency reported.

Rallies and prayers will be permitted only in small groups of up to 20 people.

Restaurants only for delivery, pharmacies, supermarkets and stores that sell hygiene products will remain open.

During this period, the Ben Gurion International Airport will remain closed for departures.

On September 18, the government imposed a three-week nationwide lockdown that allowed people to go out for sports activities, political rallies, and prayers and left several businesses partially opened.

But as the infection rates have shown no signs of abating, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country "is in an emergency" and called on for more restrictions.

According to figures released by the health ministry on Wednesday, 6,667 new cases were reported, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak hit the country in February, taking the total tally to 200,041 infections.

The death toll stood at 1,316.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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