Israel will impose a two-week quarantine on all travelers entering the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, tightening already significant travel restrictions.
“After a day of difficult discussions, we have made a decision: all those who come to Israel from abroad will be placed in solitary confinement for 14 days,” Netanyahu said in a video posted on his Twitter account.
“It is a difficult decision but it is essential for the maintenance of public health, which takes precedence over everything,” he added, according to a press release.
He noted that the measure would be implemented for two weeks and promised measures to support the Israeli economy.
Israel has already placed significant restrictions on travelers from several countries.
On Wednesday, the Jewish state banned entry to almost all non-residents arriving from France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Switzerland, stating that arrivals from these countries could only enter if they could prove that they had a place to stay in quarantine.
These measures were in addition to the restrictions previously imposed on arrivals from mainland China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Macao, South Korea, Japan and Italy.
But restrictions have not so far been extended to travelers from the United States, who contributed nearly 890,000 tourist arrivals to Israel last year – more than double those from France, in second position.
Israel has so far registered 50 cases of illness.
The Palestinian Authority, which declared a 30-day state of emergency in parts of the West Bank it administers on Thursday, has reported 25 cases.
The final measurements arrive a month before the Passover festival, which usually sees tens of thousands of Jews traveling to Israel to celebrate.
Since the first appearance of the new coronavirus in late December, 113,255 cases have been recorded in 101 countries and territories, killing 3,964 people, according to an AFP report based on official sources on Monday around 1700 GMT.