JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is considering requiring everyone who enters the country to be quarantined for 14 days regardless of which nation they’re coming from to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Some 39 people in Israel have contracted COVID-19 since the global outbreak began. Israel has responded by placing at least 80,000 people in quarantine and barring entry to visitors from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Italy. Anyone traveling from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Austria is required to be in a 14-day self-quarantine.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced yesterday he may extend that quarantine requirement to everyone from every country.
“The steps that we have taken up until today have proven themselves because we really are in a situation of control, and the spread of the disease is of a much lower scope. We see a sharp increase in many other countries and we reached the conclusion that if we need to take other steps, this will, in effect, be applied to all countries. There is no reason to do this in a small way,” said Netanyahu.
The premier said such a decision would be a “difficult” one and Israeli leaders are discussing if there would be any exceptions to this quarantine.
While business leaders and tourism experts fear such a move would have major effects on Israel’s economy, Netanyahu said having an uncontrollable outbreak would be worse.
“Health takes precedence, over everything, this is life itself. But health also ensures the economy. It must be understood that in such a situation, health ensures the economy because it is clear to you that if there is a very major outbreak of the disease, it will be very difficult to maintain the economy,” he said.
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