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Third COVID-19 lockdown costs Israel $776m per week

An elderly patient receives a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at Mishan Efal Nursing Home, in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 23, 2020 [Nir Keidar / Anadolu Agency]
An elderly patient receives a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at Mishan Efal Nursing Home, in Tel Aviv on December 23, 2020 [Nir Keidar / Anadolu Agency]

The Bank of Israel has estimated the weekly cost of the third Israeli national COVID-19 lockdown as $776 million per week. The third lockdown is due to start on Sunday, Israeli media reported on Friday.

On Friday, the Israeli cabinet approved the third lockdown regulations, which is planned to last for two weeks and may be extended to four weeks, bringing the cost to $1.5-3 billion.

According to The Times of Israel, the cost of this closure would be lower than the previous closures due to the relieved restrictions on workplaces, while working parents are less limited to work as schools will be operating normally for younger ages.

The bank expects that 90 per cent of economic activities would continue, compared to 88 per cent in the second closure and 80 per cent in the first closure.

However, many Israeli business owners complain of the government's unreliable policies and warn that they may not survive yet another forced closure, the Times of Israel has revealed.

The COVID-19 infection rate continues to rise in Israel, with the Health Ministry reporting nearly 4,000 new cases diagnosed on Thursday.

Read: Gaza suffers $1.5bn losses from siege, COVID this year

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