The Israeli government will begin easing the nationwide lockdown in place to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Sunday, October 18. As of Sunday, non-customer facing businesses will be allowed to resume operations, and nursery schools, kindergartens, parks, and beaches will reopen. Restrictions limiting people to within 1 km (0.6 mi) of their homes have also been lifted and restaurants will be able to serve takeaway food. These restrictions will not be lifted in several virus 'red' zones where infection rates remain high. Nationwide, other restrictions remain in place, including the continued closure of schools and many businesses. The government has said it will look at options for opening places of worship in the near future.
Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) resumed operations for international flights at 00:00 (local time) on Friday after it had been closed as part of the nationwide lockdown, with only those who had purchased tickets prior to the commencement of the lockdown permitted to leave. Arrivals from 31 countries listed as green may enter Israel without requiring to undergo 14 days of quarantine. A list of green countries can be found here. The move also permits entry into the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), with the OPT's and Israel's borders with Egypt and Jordan currently closed.
As of Friday, October 16, there have been 301,896 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Israel with 2141 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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