Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 25, 2021 - Ben Gurion International Airport is set to close as of midnight January 25, 2021, until the end of the month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement stated: "Today we are closing Ben-Gurion International Airport. Contrary to what is being said, we are ahead of the whole world. No country has done what we are about to do. 

We are doing this. We are hermetically closing the skies apart from very rare exceptions in order to prevent the entry of mutated viruses and in order to ensure that we will advance quickly with our vaccine operation, 'Back to Life' so that we will vaccinate more Israelis within a short time."

In Jerusalem, some neighborhoods appear to not be severely affected by the current coronavirus lockdown. However, Mamilla Mall leading to the Old City by Jaffa Gate is closed and is being used for exercise instead of shopping. The outdoor chairs stacked inside of cafes for safekeeping until the restaurants may reopen. During this time of forced closure, a few businesses are remodeling and renovating their space.

Jaffa Gate has been shut. Security is posted at the Old City Gates, with uniformed officers checking identification, nonresidents are turned away and not allowed to enter. The narrow streets in the Jewish Quarter are nearly empty. Sections of the Rova main square are under construction. 

A large area in the Kotel Plaza is also marked off and under construction with large earth-moving equipment loudly at work. The divided prayer sections for limited groups for minyanim near the wall have clear plastic barriers now, making the area look somewhat better. 

Multiple locations on the sunny and cool Monday afternoon in Jerusalem found birds outnumbering the people in and around the Old City. Whether the end of the month will be the end of the lockdowns, is yet to be determined.