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01 Apr 2020 | 02:49 PM UTC

Israel/Palestinian Terr.: Government implements new domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 April 1 /update 16

Israel implements new domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 April 1; further spread of the virus expected



On Wednesday, April 1, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a series of new domestic restrictions to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Effective Thursday, April 2, all Israeli citizens returning from abroad will be transported to hotels for a mandatory 14-day quarantine and will no longer be permitted to self-quarantine. Additionally, Netanyahu called on all individuals in the country to wear face masks when circulating in public spaces.

Netanyahu also announced on Wednesday that access to and from the city of Bnei Brak, where a large number of COVID-19 cases have surfaced, will be severely restricted, effective immediately.

To date, there are more than 6090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 25 associated deaths.Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.