Health Ministry lays down limits for Passover celebrations

Director-general of Israel's Health Ministry sets out limits for Seder Night gatherings during Passover.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Passover Seder
Passover Seder
Flash 90

Israelis looking to get together for the upcoming Passover holiday will be required to limit all gatherings to no more than 20 people, Health Ministry Director-General Hezy Levy announced Thursday evening.

Speaking at a press conference, Levy said that the 20-person limit applies to all indoor gatherings during Passover – including the Seder Night – with a 50-person limit for outdoor gatherings.

“Regarding Passover itself, there will be instructions regarding prayers and prayer gatherings. The Seder Night itself can be celebrated at home with up to 20 people, and up to 50 people outdoors.”

“We’re also approaching Ramadan and Easter. We are putting together a plan for Ramadan prayers and also for meals after the fasts and family gatherings. Maybe we will in the future remember not only the Exodus from Egypt, but the exodus from the coronavirus.”

Levy said that despite the decrease in coronavirus outbreaks, he believes the Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday cutting government restrictions on air travel is dangerous.

“As public servants and citizens we respect the ruling and will fulfill it, despite the fact that we think that it has the danger of increasing outbreaks of the [new COVID] variants.”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court blasted the government over its decision to limit the number of incoming passengers allowed to enter Israel via Ben Gurion International Airport to 3,000 per day.

The court struck down the limit, as well as the requirement that unvaccinated travelers seek approval from a special exceptions committee in order to travel.

The three-judge panel, led by chief justice Esther Hayut, said the government failed to bring data to justify its policies.

“In the future, any new restrictions on travel into or out of Israel need, in legal terms, a comprehensive, factual, data-based foundation.”

The court also slammed the restrictions themselves, writing in the ruling that the limits constitute an "assault on the very heart of the legal right to enter Israel and to leave it, and other rights that are at the heart of the fabric of life in democratic societies."

"It seems that instead of investing the effort and resources to enforce isolation, the violation of which is at the center of fears of outbreaks of [COVID] variants, the government preferred to impose a regime on entry and departure from Israel that is easier to do, but much more seriously harms basic rights."