Israeli authorities have announced restrictions on outbound flights until October 10, as part of the nationwide lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Individuals will be permitted to take flights out of the country provided tickets were booked prior to the total lockdown going into place on Friday, September 25. Flights into the country may continue without limitations, although arrivals from 'red' countries with high COVID-19 rates are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Some exceptions will be made for domestic flights from Eilat Ramon Airport in the south of Israel to permit essential workers or those seeking medical treatment to access the centre of the country. The flight restrictions will also affect entry into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border crossing with Jordan is closed until further notice.
The Israeli cabinet approved measures to tighten Israel's COVID-19 lockdown on Thursday, September 24. A partial lockdown was imposed on Friday, September 18, but the country effectively moved into a total lockdown on September 25. The lockdown includes the closing of all nonessential businesses, only allowing people to gather in family groups, and the existing limit prohibiting travel over 1km (0.6mi) from home except for essential purposes being extended to protests and worship. Schools will remain closed and synagogues closed on Friday but will be allowed to reopen at a limited capacity for Yom Kippur between Sunday, September 27, and Monday, September 28. Only essential shops and business sectors are to remain open. The tightened measures are expected to be in place until at least October 10, after the Sukkot holiday period.
As of Saturday, September 26, there have been 217,899 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Israel, with 1412 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized
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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