Hours before lockdown ends, police kicks up enforcement efforts in TLV

People were reportedly told to go home even if they proved that their place of residence was within the 1 kilometre distance restriction.

People wear protective face masks for fear of the Coronavirus Covid-19 on the beach promenade in Tel Aviv on April 22, 2020 (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
People wear protective face masks for fear of the Coronavirus Covid-19 on the beach promenade in Tel Aviv on April 22, 2020
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Several hours before the third nationwide lockdown ended and with it the various movement restrictions, the Israel Police was seen patrolling Tel Aviv's streets on Saturday evening and threatening to fine individuals who refused to go home, Ynet reported. 
People were reportedly told to go home even if they proved that their place of residence was within the 1 kilometer distance, as per the restriction. Currently, the guidelines allow people to stay outside if their residence is less than 1 kilometer away from where they are.
According to the report, the police targeted specific areas in the city where they believed larger gatherings could develop. 
"As far as they're concerned, if there are a few people here it's enough to disperse everyone because it's a gathering - despite the square being empty and everyone keeping their distance and wearing masks. The officer told me that he can understand what I'm saying but that there is nothing he can do about it, he has judgment," a woman who went for a walk near her home on Dizengoff Center told Ynet. 
The two areas that saw the most police activity were the Tel Aviv Promenade along the beach and the Dizengoff Square, where people were asked to return home regardless of where their home was located. 
"It's infuriating that the police chooses to harass us," said a jogger in Tel Aviv's promenade, according to Ynet. "There's no justification to bother two girls who just finished working out and were just looking to rest for a few minutes." 
The third lockdown is expected to end on Sunday, February 7, at 7:00 a.m.
As of last night (Thursday) at midnight, the enforcement of the closure restrictions was intensified throughout the country and 24 checkpoints were deployed on the intercity roads. This is in addition to about 200 other checkpoints within cities.
All of these were expected at the time to increase the number of reports by more than 60%, as the majority of the public is expected to stay within one kilometer of their homes.