16:12 GMT19 October 2020
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    A couple engaging in sexual relations at a restaurant near a beach in Rishon Lezion in southern Israel was slapped with four fines on Saturday for breaking multiple COVID-19 regulations.

    According to the Jerusalem Post, the couple was apprehended and fined by police for walking along the beach without masks. The couple refused to wear masks even after being asked to do so by police, claiming that they lived near the beach. However, a security check by the officers revealed that the couple did not live together or near the beach, the Post reported.

    Shortly afterward, an employee at a closed restaurant witnessed the couple having sex on one of the tables set up outside the establishment. Security officers arrived at the scene and realized it was the same couple that had been fined earlier. The couple was once again fined for not wearing masks and violating COVID-19 regulations.

    Under regulations for the country-wide lockdown, which went into effect before September 18, professional athletes and individuals exercising by themselves are the only ones that can be present at the beach without masks.

    The regulations also stipulate that people must remain at least 6.5 feet apart.

    Israel became the first country to reimpose nationwide lockdown measures last month, the New York Times reported.

    The latest data by Johns Hopkins University shows that there have been more than 277,000 cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Israel, and almost 1,800 related deaths.

    In the last week, Israel has seen highs of 9,000 new cases daily and maintains one of the world’s worst outbreaks on a per capita basis. In addition, its ultra-Orthodox community, which comprises about 10% of the population, accounts for more than one-third of the country’s total cases, AP reported.

    The ultra-Orthodox community has also claimed in recent weeks they are being unjustly targeted by authorities, pointing to the large weekly protests, mostly by secular Israelis, against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic. The government has approved temporary restrictions on protests, allowing groups of up to 20 people, all wearing masks and standing 2 meters apart, to protest no further than a kilometer from their homes.

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    COVID-19, Israel, beach
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