Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 16, 2021 - Motzaei Shabbos - On Thursday, Rosh Chodesh Shevat, Israel continued under COVID-19 restrictions and entered the second week of a two-week lockdown. Reported numbers of coronavirus in Israel: 9,172 new cases, with 7.6% of tests positive.
Early afternoon, Balfour Street near the Prime Minister's Residence was quiet, a lone protester stood near the closed security gates.
Clouds filled the sky, after a night of heavy rain, public parks were deserted in the chilly windy weather and because of the corona limitations. The walk from the Montefiore Windmill to the views from Derech Hevron, usually a popular tourist area, was quiet. After the rain, the air was clear enough to view the Jordanian mountain range from the lookout points of Mishkanot Hashananim.
Border police security officers stopped and checked buses entering on Derech Hevron, and by the Old City at Jaffa Gate . The one-kilometer distance limit from home is being more closely enforced as the number of corona cases has been rising.
In Takana Rishona, First Station, police were patrolling and checking businesses. Most were closed. The smell of fresh coffee came from a coffee bar, one of the few food businesses operating.
Jerusalem traffic was much less for a Thursday afternoon, but continuing road work for those who were out meant detours.
In Ramle, the two-millionth Israeli was vaccinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein attending for the photo op.
Whether the lockdown will be continued for an additional week is being discussed. Meanwhile, another night with heavy rain caused flooding on roads. After a long period of spring-like weather, it finally feels winter has arrived in Jerusalem.