JERUSALEM (JTA) — The director-general of the Health Ministry said all travelers who have visited New York, California and Washington state could be required to enter a 14-day quarantine after arriving in Israel.
In a television interview Saturday evening, Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov said that decisions about handling returning Israelis and visitors from high-infection areas of the United States would be made on a state-by-state basis. Israel will make a final decision about the quarantine late Saturday night or Sunday, he said.
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is due to hold a press conference Sunday evening at which for “big steps” will be announced to contain the virus.
Meanwhile, the number of Israelis diagnosed with the coronavirus jumped to 25 on Saturday night, including a bus driver who drove several Greek travelers who were infected with the virus and is reported to be fighting for his life.
Also Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the spread of coronavirus a “global pandemic” and announced several new steps in Israel’s fight to contain the virus, including enlisting young people to help disinfect public places, including railway stations and bus stations and extending credit to businesses affected by the virus.