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For Fear of Coronavirus, Israel Closes all Borders

Foreign citizens will be granted entry into Israel only if they can meet the requirement of a 14-day home-quarantine

Adrian Filut and Adi Pick 21:3109.03.20

With 42 cases of Covid-19 now confirmed in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to enforce complete closure of Israel’s borders. Every Israeli who returns from overseas as of Monday at 8 p.m. must enter a 14-day home-quarantine. Tourists currently in Israel have been given a 72-hour reprieve, until Thursday night, before they, too, must enter quarantine.

 

Foreign citizens will be granted entry into Israel only if they can meet the requirement of a 14-day home quarantine.
Ben Gurion Airport. Photo: Reuters Ben Gurion Airport. Photo: Reuters
At a press event held Monday evening, Netanyahu stated the restriction will be valid for two weeks, because “at the same time, we are making decisions to maintain the Israeli economy." The Israeli Ministers of the Interior, Tourism, Economy, Transport, and Health were also present at the event.

 

“The steps we have taken have proven themselves and we can see it in the numbers,” Netanyahu said at a press event Sunday, where the government was initially expected to make a decision regarding a ban on entries from the U.S.

 

Until now, the list of banned countries included China, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, and Egypt. Citizens from these countries were unable to enter Israel, while Israeli citizens returning from these countries were compelled to enter a 14-day self-quarantine, sometimes retroactively.