Israel goes on lockdown with curfew through Friday

Israel is the latest country going on lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the lockdown would begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Israel Daylight Time, until 7 a.m. Friday.

He also announced a 24-hour nationwide curfew beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. Thursday, ensuring people will be home for the Seder, a Jewish ritual service and ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover.

Elsewhere around the world Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in several of his nation's prefectures.

Japanese prime minister declares national state of emergency

In London, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care in a British hospital. Johnson reported he had contracted the coronavirus 11 days ago, but British officials said Johnson had remained in charge of the government.

Also In London, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief said countries looking to exit their lockdown strategies need to use a “calibrated, step-wise approach” that does not release all the restrictions at once.

Dr. Mike Ryan said Monday the lockdowns seen in many countries involve shutdowns of schools, workplaces and social gatherings in venues such as public places and parks.


“It probably would be a bad idea to lift all the lockdown restrictions (at once),” Ryan said, noting that countries shouldn’t be looking to transition out of a shutdown without having a plan in place to keep the spread of COVID-19 to manageable levels.

“The lockdown is pushing the disease down. Once you raise the lockdown, you have to have an alternative method to suppress the infection,” Ryan said, explaining countries should have systems in place to detect cases, track contacts, quarantine suspect cases and test widely for the disease.

Slovakia’s government also approved a plan to limit movement across the country during Easter in efforts to contain the coronavirus. The restrictions will be in place from Wednesday until the end of Easter Monday.

People will only be allowed to travel to work, do essential shopping or visit doctors. Only family members can stay together for any outdoor activities that will be restricted to take place only within one county.

Slovakia is a Roman Catholic stronghold in central and eastern Europe. The government previously banned public gatherings, including religious services.

Greece recorded six more deaths from COVID-19 in the last day, bringing the country’s total to 79, another 20 positive cases were detected, bringing the total to 1,755. The country enacted lockdown measures relatively early on in its outbreak compared with some other European countries, and authorities say the restrictions appear to be working.

Nearly all retail businesses have been shut down, and people are allowed out of their homes only for specific reasons. Thousands of fines have been imposed.

In Prague, the Czech government relaxed some restrictions imposed to contain the epidemic of the coronavirus.

Industry and trade minister Karel Havlicek said starting Tuesday people would not have to wear a mandatory face mask for outdoor individual sports activities, such as jogging or riding a bicycle.

Havlicek said people still have to keep a compulsory distance of 2 meters from one another.

More stores will reopen after Easter, Havlicek said Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.