Passover in Israel looks like Yom Kippur – roads empty due to coronavirus


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s highways, intersections and back streets were deserted during Passover on Thursday, as coronavirus restrictions and a holiday curfew left the country looking more like Yom Kippur, when almost all road traffic stops.

Police cars stopped the occasional passing vehicle, demanding to see documents identifying them as essential workers.

Israelis celebrating the Jewish Passover holiday this week were confined to their homes on Wednesday night for the “seder” – the traditional large festive meal celebrating freedom from biblical slavery.

A ban on inter-city travel went into effect on Tuesday afternoon and was set to end on Friday morning. Israel has confirmed nearly 10,000 cases of the new coronavirus, and 79 fatalities.

Reporting by Stephen Farrell and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky