A meeting of cabinet ministers on Thursday concluded that a nationwide lockdown was necessary this weekend, starting Friday and ending on Sunday when the Israeli workweek begins. Weekend lockdowns may become commonplace until the pandemic is back under control.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the meeting, which included not only cabinet ministers but also health professionals and members of the National Security Council. Those present deemed a lockdown advisable.

The lockdown will run from Friday morning to Sunday morning with people allowed out of their homes for essential needs only.

In order to get the daily infections down to below 400 by the end of August, the country will go into lockdown mode each weekend, Channel 12 News reported.

Also decided during the meeting was that gatherings all week will be restricted to 20 people outdoors and only 10 people indoors, including houses of worship. Dining at restaurants will be prohibited and eateries will be allowed to operate for deliveries only.

The Health Ministry announced 1,898 new confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, an infection rate of seven percent. The number of Israelis sick with the virus passed 24,000. The number of serious cases is also rising and hospital wards are filling up.