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Israel bans travel from city to city ahead of Passover

An Israeli soldier wears a mask and gloves, as protection from the coronavirus, while enforcing movement restrictions in Jerusalem on Tuesday ahead of Passover. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
An Israeli soldier wears a mask and gloves, as protection from the coronavirus, while enforcing movement restrictions in Jerusalem on Tuesday ahead of Passover. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- A government ban took effect in Israel on Tuesday that prohibits citizens from traveling from city to city, and was one of several new restrictions introduced ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The ban, which will remain in effect until early Friday, is one of several new measures announced Monday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease.

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Under the ban, Israelis are ordered to limit movements to fewer than 330 feet away from their home.

Netanyahu also ordered public transportation and international flights to remain closed until at least Sunday. A number of food stores will also close from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning.

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The new restrictions came ahead of Passover, which is one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. It begins Wednesday and lasts until April 16.

"I know this is a big burden, but there is no choice," Netanyahu said. "I ask that you do this in self-discipline for your sake and for your loved ones, for the police and medical teams."

Officials said police will enforce the ban. In Jerusalem, for example, authorities will divide the city into seven boroughs where all non-essential traffic will be barred. Those who do travel could be asked for identification and their purpose.

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The World Health Organization said Israel recorded more than 400 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing its total to more than 8,000.

Israel's Health Ministry also ordered all persons above the age of 6 to wear a mask when in public until at least Sunday.

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A health worker with the Israeli national emergency service, Magen David Adam, wears protective gear while taking swabs to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing center in East Jerusalem on August 26. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

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