Wearing a face mask (illustrative)
Wearing a face mask (illustrative) iStock

Israel's Health Ministry on Tuesday issued new guidelines which require Israelis to remain at home other than for necessary outings. These guidelines include:

1. Do not leave home, other than for situations which require it (work in accordance with the guidelines, purchasing food, medication, medical services, and other necessary services).

2. Do not leave home to visit parks, playgrounds, beaches, pools, libraries, museums, nature reserves and parks, or other public spaces, other than children leaving with their families only, or with pets (in an individual fashion).

3. Do not hold extracurricular activities, even with a minimum number of participants. This includes sports and gyms, as well as group activities publicly or privately provided. Unorganized exercise activities of up to five people are allowed, so long as participants can keep a distance of two meters from each other.

4. Keep in contact with friends via technology, and avoid hosting friends and family who do not live in your home.

5. Those who are at increased risk of complications, such as the elderly or those who suffer chronic illness or long-term respiratory issues, including: asthma, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, immune disorders or diseases, cancer patients and patients who are immunocompromised, must avoid leaving their homes as much as possible, other than for necessary services. Instead, they should request the aid of family and friends in keeping their homes supplied with what they need.

6. The following tools should be used to limit outings:
1. Telecommuting, including video calls and conference calls
2. Each employer must be sure to provide a space of two meters between employees and ensure personal and environmental hygiene.
3. Deliveries will be placed outside the door.
4. Dentist appointments should be delayed as much as possible, and only crucial and emergency situations should be handled.

7. While leaving home due to situations which require it, contact between people should be limited, and a distance of two meters between people should be kept.

8. Medical services:
1. If there is a medical issue, it is recommended to consult via technology and not arrive at the clinic physically, as much as possible and in accordance with the health fund's guidelines on the internet and media.
2. Immediately at the start of the lockdown, individuals should ascertain the ways they can contact their health funds. This can be done via the internet or via family members, and the health fund's guidelines should be clarified in case a person needs medical services. (Be sure you know how to contact your health fund, and follow their guidelines.)
3. If you feel you are developing symptoms of a disease, fever, with or without respiratory symptoms, immediately quarantine yourself at home and avoid contact with your family. Check your temperature twice a day. If you are worried, contact your doctor or the local clinic which you belong to.
4. In case of fever, the patient will be in quarantine until two days after the fever breaks. The rest of the family will be quarantined only if the patient tests positive for coronavirus.

Other guidelines:

  • avoid physical contact, including hugging and handshakes
  • do not open the door with your hand
  • avoid touching your face
  • wash your hands frequently with soap
  • air out your home as much as possible
  • sterilize handles and doors
  • avoid kissing mezuzahs and other holy objects
  • avoid smoking cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, or hookah - this is a great opportunity to quit smoking!
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils, and avoid transferring food from your mouth to someone else's
  • be sure to eat a nutritionally balanced diet and exercise properly while you are at home (see guidelines)

Guidelines for behavior outside the home:

When can you leave the house?
1. If you need urgent medical care - those who have fever or respiratory symptoms are forbidden from leaving their homes, other than for a medical emergency.
2. Employees - according to the government guidelines and the separately-published guidelines
3. Leaving the home in order to buy food, if there is no option to receive a delivery or have a family member purchase it (in the case of the elderly or chronically ill)
4. Funerals - reduce the number of participants to a minimum, and keep it to only close family. Be sure there is a space of two meters between people. Avoid remaining in enclosed areas.
5. Individuals may leave for a ten-minute walk in isolated areas, or to their yard. Take the elevator down alone, and keep away from other people.
6. Childcare - two families may decide to share childcare on a regular basis.

How to act when leaving home:
1. Leave in a private vehicle - one person alone, or family members from the same household, other than when there is a need to bring someone for medical care that is not urgent.
2. Avoid using public transportation as much as possible - guidelines will be issued separately.
3. Keep a distance of two meters between people when arriving at a public place where people are.
4. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and ensure respiratory hygiene.

How to act at work:
1. Be sure to keep a space of at least two meters between employees in all places of employment and areas where employees are found.
2. Check your temperature before leaving for work. If you have a fever or develop respiratory symptoms, do not come to work and keep the rules for home quarantine. It is suggested that you keep a chart of your temperature, which should be taken each morning and evening.
3. Wash your hands with soap before entering and leaving the workplace, and at least once every three hours.
4. Try as much as possible not to touch your nose or mouth, and to wash your hands after every time you do touch them.
5. Place tissues or toilet paper in easy reach of all employees.
6. Be sure to keep the other guidelines mentioned above.

Beginning on Sunday, March 22, elective activities in public hospitals will cease. A detailed announcement will be issued on the subject.

Commercial stores which are not essential, as the order defines it (such as food, medicine, and toiletries) must close.