The damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak to the aviation and tourism sector is continuing in the wake of Israel’s decision to order Israeli citizens as well as foreigners returning from abroad to enter a 14-day isolation period.
Israeli airline Israir announced on Monday that it will operate flights until the weekend to bring all its passengers back from abroad.
After that, all international flights will be canceled until the end of March.
Another Israeli airline, Arkia, announced meanwhile that it will send about 180 of its employees on vacation without pay. In addition, the company canceled most of its international routes until further notice.
The Ministry of Health made clear that the decision to enforce isolation for Israelis returning from abroad will take effect immediately, and the decision to isolate foreigners who enter Israel will take effect in 72 hours.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier on Monday chaired a series of discussions on the coronavirus, at the conclusion of which he said, "After a day of complex discussions, we have made a decision: Whoever arrives in Israel from abroad will enter quarantine for 14 days.”
“This is a difficult decision but it is essential to maintaining public health, which takes precedence over everything,” he added.
“This decision will be in effect for two weeks. At the same time, we will make decisions to safeguard the Israeli economy."