Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Israelis to stick to guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, saying the government will reinstitute lockdown measures if citizens fail to do so.

“If the public does not stick to wearing masks and social distancing, we will be bringing back a full closure,” Netanyahu warned this week.

“ I asked for a meeting with the director generals of the relevant ministries, heads of local governments, head of the national security council and various experts who gave their assessments. They gave me different forecasts…but these forecasts are all tough. We must flatten the curve now,” Netanyahu added.

On Saturday, Sigal Sadetsky, head of Israel’s Public Health Services, told Army Radio that while “we don’t want to go back to a lockdown,” if the rise in cases continues “we will have to go back.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s finance ministry has called on authorities to increase the enforcement of coronavirus regulations, including the wearing of facemasks, and social distancing, as well as the reprimanding or closure of businesses which violate the rules. The health ministry, meanwhile, has demanded an increase in testing, and an improvement in ‘contact tracing’ (i.e. digitally assisted spying) capabilities.