(Ynetnews) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman announced that Israelis arriving from France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Spain must enter a two-week period of quarantine. Non-Israelis will be allowed in from those same destinations if they can be quarantined for the first two weeks of their stay.
Netanyahu, speaking to local media at the ministry of health in Jerusalem, announced new measures that were decided upon as part of the efforts to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, saying that the world was in the midst of a pandemic. “This is the truth and it must be said.”
“Israel is one of the only countries in the West that is in a relatively good place,” the prime minister insisted. “We’ve taken severe measures in order to prevent the spread [of the virus].”
Netanyahu advised against shaking hands, and suggested the Indian greeting namaste as an option.
Litzman announced the health ministry has now imposed a ban on public events and assemblies of more than 5,000 participants as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
“We will not allow international conferences in Israel,” Litzman added.
“This is an international crisis. There are countries that are working to take various steps, and there are countries that haven’t yet internalized the severity of the situation,” the minister said.
The directive follows previous similar instructions for Israelis returning from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Italy.
Earlier, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, told observant Jews they should refrain from the custom of kissing the mezuzah when entering a building or a room.
During these days, when we are witness to the spread of a serious disease, there is no doubt that one should not kiss the mezuzah or touch it at all,” said Lau.