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.
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.