Coronavirus strain
Coronavirus strain iStock

A new directive requiring returnees to Israel from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia or Lesotho to be in quarantine in state-sponsored hotels for a period 10 days with two negative tests for COVID-19 or for 14 days without tests went into effect on Friday. The directive will be in effect for 10 days, until Sunday, January 17.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said its central laboratory is evaluating samples of 15 people who returned to Israel from South Africa in recent days and who tested positive for coronavirus, as well as five people who came in contact with them, to determine if they carry the recently discovered South African variation of the virus.

So far, no cases of the South African variant have been diagnosed in Israel.

The Health Ministry noted that 117 more cases of the British variant of the coronavirus were discovered in Israel on Friday, bringing the total cases to 147.

Of those cases, only six people returned to Israel from abroad. The rest were infected locally, with the Ministry noting this may explain the significant and rapid increase of cases of the virus in Israel in recent weeks.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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