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Israel: New Rules Require 14 Days of Quarantine for All Persons Entering the Country

(Mar. 10, 2020) As of March 9, 2020, at 8:00 pm Israeli time, travelers entering Israel from anywhere in the world have been required to undergo home isolation for 14 days from the date of their arrival in Israel. Travelers who arrived in Israel in the 14 days before March 9, 2020, and who have developed symptoms of a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), coughing, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms are prohibited from going to health clinics or a hospital emergency room. Instead, they must enter home isolation and immediately call the MDA (emergency health care) hotline for instructions on obtaining a medical examination. The new rules expand the requirements of home isolation that previously applied only to travelers returning from a list of specified countries. (Coronavirus, Ministry of Health (MOH) (Mar. 9, 2020), https://perma.cc/W2GY-8SC2 (in Hebrew).)

As of March 10, 2020, the MOH has also prohibited gatherings of over 2,000 people, as well as gatherings of over 100 people who have returned from any destination abroad in the past 14 days.

No international conferences may be held in Israel until further notice. Persons aged 60 and over and those with chronic background illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disease, or immunosuppression are advised to avoid crowds and contact with people returning from any destination abroad, those with symptoms, or people suspected of being sick.

The Ministry further updated the medical certificate required for paid absences during the home isolation of an employee or an employee’s child. Employees wishing to obtain the certificate should not contact their family physicians but instead present their employer a signed affidavit and proof of overseas stay, as applicable. According to MOH instructions, employees may return to work on the 15th day after returning to Israel if no symptoms have developed. (Coronavirus, MOH; see also MOH, Updating Extended Sickness Certificate for Employee Staying in Isolation Under Public Health Order (New Coronavirus 2019) (Home Insulation) (Temporary Provision) 5780-2020, https://perma.cc/2Q7G-K6KS (in Hebrew).)