Israel to Limit Entry of Citizens to 200 a Day Over Coronavirus Quarantine Issues

Israel further restricts how many people can arrive in the country after committee told that requirement for arrivals to quarantine in state-run hotels wasn’t properly enforced

Conducting coronavirus tests at Ben-Gurion International Airport, last month.
Conducting coronavirus tests at Ben-Gurion International Airport, last month.Credit: David Bachar

The number of Israelis allowed to arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport will be slashed from 2,000 a day to 200 starting next week, the government announced Monday, citing authorities’ difficulty in enforcing coronavirus quarantines for those returning.

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Transportation Minister Miri Regev will have arrivals limited to urgent humanitarian cases until a solution is found. The government called on Israelis planning to depart the country in the coming days to “to consider the necessity of departure in light of the expect restrictions on their return.”

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On Sunday, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee extended by another day the requirement for those returning from abroad to quarantine in designated state-run facilities and asked the Health Ministry to propose options for ensuring that arrivals quarantine in case they are infected with the coronavirus.

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of the public health services at the ministry, presented the opinion to the committee that the law requiring arrivals to quarantine was not properly enforced, and therefore "does not represent an optimal solution to the fear of the spread of coronavirus variants.” According to Health Ministry data presented by Alroy-Preis, between February 2-13, only about a quarter of people who entered country were sent to these hotels.

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