Israel announced a series of strict measures to combat the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, including additional travel restrictions and limitations on large gatherings. The Ministry of Health also urged Israelis to stop shaking hands.
Foreign nationals who have traveled from France, Germany, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland will soon be barred from entering Israel, unless they are able to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, the Ministry of Health announced in a press conference. This decision will go into effect in the coming days, the Ministry said.
Israelis who return from these countries will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the day they return. This rule will apply retroactively for people who have already returned from these countries.
Israel already prevents entry of foreign nationals who have been to China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and Italy within the last 14 days. Any Israeli citizens returning from these destinations must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Tourists who visited Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country.
In addition, healthcare workers are forbidden from traveling overseas. International conferences are now barred from being held in Israel, while Israeli citizens who attend international conferences overseas must go into self-quarantine for 14 days. Israeli citizens who return from any destination abroad are not allowed to attend gatherings of more than 100 people.
The Ministry of Health urged those aged 60 or over, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, and conditions that affect the immune system, to refrain from close contact with anyone who has returned from overseas.
As of Wednesday evening, Israel has 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus. CNN