Police set up roughly 200 roadblocks to enforce COVID-19 lockdown

The roadblocks are meant to prevent Israelis from taken advantage of the sunny weekend ahead and travel the country, in violation of the lockdown.

Police are seen checking drivers at a coronavirus checkpoint near Jerusalem's Gan Sacher amid lockdown, on January 12, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Police are seen checking drivers at a coronavirus checkpoint near Jerusalem's Gan Sacher amid lockdown, on January 12, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Police will operate roughly 200 roadblocks over the weekend, especially on intercity roads, to deter Israelis from taking advantage of the sunny days ahead and travel in violation of the COVID-19 lockdown, N12 reported on Friday. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government recently extended the lockdown by another ten days. While essential workers are able to travel for work and political protests are allowed to continue, most Israelis are encouraged to remain indoors.
In addition to the roadblocks, police mean to send officers on patrols to prevent mass gatherings and claimed that the existing regulations will be enforced to the full measure of the law. 
Police lockdown policy came under much criticism in recent weeks after it was reported ultra-Orthodox communities openly violate the novel coronavirus health regulations by keeping schools open and holding large weddings. In that sector, infection rates and death are much higher than among secular Israelis.  
This comes as 7,099 new cases of the novel coronavirus were found on Thursday, according to a Friday morning report by the Health Ministry. Some 8.9% of people screened Thursday were found to have the virus, versus 9% on Wednesday and 9.2% before that.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.