The Israeli government has extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown until February 5th.

In addition to the prolonged lockout, the government approved keeping the ban on travel to and from Israel as is until February 7th at midnight.

The government also approved the establishment of a committee to sign off on requests for humanitarian and other special reasons for exceptions to the ban. The committee will be headed by an official from the Interior Ministry and will consist of members from other related ministries, such as Foreign Affairs.

Commenting on the decision, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hopes that Israel will soon see a lifting of restriction.

“We are in the midst of a race to vaccinate as many Israeli citizens as possible to fight the spread of the mutations,” Netanyahu said.

“I have had discussions with the ministers of Health and Education regarding a gradual opening in the coming days of the education system, starting with the lower grades, and 11th and 12th-grade students who are being immunized,” he said.

In the meantime, Israel expects over a million more doses of vaccine to come within a week.

More than three million Israelis, accounting for over 33.4 percent of the entire population, has received the first dose of the Pfizer-developed vaccine.