Israel is taking the extraordinary step of requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday. Israel has reported nearly 40 cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In a brief video announcing the new policy, Netanyahu said the decision was a difficult one to make. He added that the policy will force people flying into Israel to enter a two-week home quarantine period and that it will be in effect for two weeks.
The requirement for visitors to Israel will be implemented on Thursday. The blanket policy is believed to be the first in the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak that has now killed more than 3,800 people around the globe.
"Foreign nationals who cannot self-quarantine will be refused entry," NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Jerusalem. He adds, "All Israelis returning from abroad must self-quarantine."