Coronavirus: Israel strengthens entry bans
The doors to visitors from certain Asian countries were closed by Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (here in the Knesset on September 13, 2017). REUTERS / Ammar Awad
Text by: Guilhem Delteil Follow
Twelve Israeli Diamond Princess passengers are expected to be evacuated from this currently quarantined cruise ship in Japan. They are expected to be repatriated to their country on Thursday. However, three other Israeli passengers who contracted the disease are not allowed to leave the country. Israel, moreover, is stepping up measures to prevent the virus from arriving on its territory.
From our correspondent in Jerusalem,
The Israeli government had already closed the doors of the country to non-resident foreigners who went to China in the two weeks preceding their arrival at one of the border posts. This measure is now extended to visitors who have visited Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Thailand.
This decision was taken Monday by the Minister of the Interior. According to the Israeli press, Aryeh Deri is implementing a recommendation from the Ministry of Health there. But the newspapers on Tuesday stressed that the measure, very strict, would raise fears of diplomatic and economic repercussions on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thailand has already advised its nationals not to come to Israel. Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific plans to suspend all flights to Tel Aviv.
Israelis and residents returning from these five destinations are ordered to quarantine at home for two weeks. They should only be allowed out to participate in the legislative elections on March 2. But the Ministry of Health and the electoral commission will set up specific polling stations for these voters.
► Read also: In China, the number of new infections is stagnating, the WHO remains cautious
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