Israel will require all citizens who return from abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a measure aides said would go into force immediately.
"Anyone who arrives in Israel from abroad will enter a 14-day isolation," Netanyahu said in a video statement, adding that the measure would be in effect for two weeks, initially.
"This is a difficult decision. But it is essential for safeguarding public health, and public health comes first."
Israel had already taken some of the most extreme precautions to prevent a local coronavirus outbreak, forcing visitors from many countries in Asia and Europe into home isolation. This had made travel and trade difficult, with tourism expected to suffer.
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Israeli media said that, as of Thursday, foreigners would be admitted only if they can prove they have the means to self-quarantine.
Israeli media said the measure would mean quarantine for some 300,000 citizens in a country of around 9 million.