Amid the continued outbreak of the new coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that all travelers coming to the country from abroad will subject to a two-week quarantine upon arrival.
"After a day of complex discussions, we made a decision: Everyone who comes to Israel from abroad will enter the 14-day isolation," the prime minister said in a tweet, according to a Twitter translation from Hebrew. "This is a tough decision, but it is essential to maintain public health - and public health precedes everything."
In the announcement, Netanyahu also said that the policy would be in place for two weeks, and that in the meantime the government would be working to shore up the country's economy.
אחרי יממה של דיונים מורכבים קיבלנו החלטה: כל מי שיגיע לישראל מחו"ל ייכנס לבידוד של 14 יום. זו החלטה קשה, אבל היא ח… https://t.co/v2PmaGB5ic— Benjamin Netanyahu (@Benjamin Netanyahu)1583776797.0
The Jerusalem Post also reported that, while the quarantine policy will go into effect for Israelis immediately, it will go into effect for foreigners in 72 hours. The outlet also noted that non-Israelis will not be allowed to enter the country while the policy is in effect unless they can prove that they have a place to stay for the quarantine period.
The prime minister's announcement came on the same day that the country confirmed its 42nd case of the new virus, according to the Times of Israel. Th outlet also reported that a man in the country who contracted the virus from an unknown source had visited multiple public places such as shopping malls and a home for the elderly, according to the country's Ministry of Health.
However, the country has had zero deaths from the virus so far, according to World Health Organization numbers updated on Monday.
Those same WHO numbers placed the total number of confirmed cases around the world at over 109,000 and the number of worldwide deaths from the disease at over 3,800. The vast majority of those cases and deaths have been in mainland China where the disease originated late last year.
Prior to Monday's announcement, Israel had already ordered travelers from several other countries — including Italy, Germany France, Spain, China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea — to undergo self-quarantine, according to Reuters. Last month, the country became the first in the world to formally advise its citizens to avoid all travel abroad.