Smotrich: Returning travelers to be isolated in 'coronavirus hotels'

At urgent meeting, ministers decide to allow 'rescue' flights into Israel, but place all arrivals in 'coronavirus hotels' for 14 days.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Flash 90

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) on Saturday evening initiated an urgent government meeting to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to halt all "rescue" flights bringing Israelis home.

Attending the meeting were Netanyahu, Smotrich, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina), Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), head of the National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat, Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov, and others.

At the meeting, it was decided to reopen the doors to Israelis returning home. However, all those returning to Israel will be required to remain in one of the "coronavirus hotels" operated by the Defense Ministry and funded by the Israeli government.

All of the returning travelers will remain in the "coronavirus hotels" for 14 days.

The decision will be sent for ministers' approval on Saturday evening, so that they can be implemented. It is expected to be approved by the government on Sunday morning.

"As I said, the State of Israel will not close its doors to Israelis returning home," Smotrich said. "I thank the Prime Minister for making the correct moral decision. All of Israel are responsible for each other, and that is a basic tenet of the State of Israel."

Also at the meeting, Netanyahu decided to transfer the management of those returning from abroad during the coronavirus outbreak to the Defense Ministry, which will take charge of the project beginning on Saturday evening.

Earlier this month, both Netanyahu and Bennett said returning travelers must be isolated in coronavirus hotels, but the idea was vetoed, causing it not to be implemented.