The Israeli government has reimposed certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions nationwide on Monday, July 6. The restrictions include orders to immediately close gyms, event halls, bars, night clubs, and cultural events. Restaurants will only be allowed a maximum of 20 customers indoors and 30 outdoors, while synagogues will only be allowed to host 19 worshipers at a time. The passenger limit on public transport has also been significantly reduced. The measure is designed to avoid a stricter lockdown and comes following sharp rises in new COVID-19 cases.
On Friday, July 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had declared a "major outbreak" of COVID-19, as active cases passed 10,000 for the first time. The wearing of face masks remains mandatory, and police have announced they will be increasing patrols over the weekend to ensure compliance of measures.
On June 25, Israeli authorities announced an extension to the entry ban on foreign nationals until August 1. Under the restriction, only passengers with a permit issued by the Israeli Airports Authority (IAA) may enter the country. The order also includes stopover flights for passengers en-route to a second destination. On June 24, the Israeli cabinet re-approved the use of counter-terrorism surveillance to track infections, a practice previously halted due to privacy concerns.
As of July 6, there have been 30,162 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Israel, with 332 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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