The number of daily coronavirus cases in Israel hit 2,802 on Wednesday – way above the 2,500 mark at which lawmakers said tightened restrictions would kick in.
The R-rate – the average number of people infected by a Covid-19-carrying individual – rose to 1.23.
The country’s so-called coronavirus cabinet will meet on Sunday to decide what to do.
Although a third lockdown is possible, it seems more likely the government will impose additional restrictions on commerce: closing shops, malls and markets that aren’t considered essential.
The night before the cabinet meets, after the end of the Jewish sabbath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the first person in the country to be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.
In a video message recorded at his home, where he’s self-isolating, he said:
“On Friday, I will leave quarantine and on Saturday evening I will go get vaccinated. I have asked to be the first person to get vaccinated in order to serve as an example and to persuade you that you can and should be vaccinated.”
President Reuven Rivlin will follow on Sunday, when he visits health workers at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.
Along with leading political figures, medical professionals will also be among the first group of Israelis to be vaccinated.