Health officials reported on Saturday that two-thirds of Israelis returning from travel abroad to countries with high rates of coronavirus infection violated quarantine.
The meeting between Health Minister Juli Edelstein, King of Coronavirus Nachman Ash, ministry officials and scientists also heard that it was later found that 1-2 percent of people returning from abroad – from all over – carry the coronavirus. Channel 12 news.
Israelis returning from Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria are likely to receive positive results, the report said.
Get the Daily of Israel daily by email and never miss our most popular stories Free registration
Testing is not mandatory for travelers to Israel from anywhere, but those arriving from countries with high infections can now use tests to slightly reduce their quarantine period.
The report says that it is clear from the discussions that it is necessary to test all those who have returned from abroad, regardless of where they have been.
Under current regulations, those entering Israel from a country considered “red” with a high transmission rate only need to fill out a health declaration form.
Travelers returning to Israel from one of these countries must be quarantined for 14 days, a period that can be shortened to 12 days if the person has two negative virus tests, one at the beginning and one at the end of self-isolation. Period.
The report says officials are also discussing the possibility of forcing all returnees to go into isolation, no matter where they come from, or using digital means to track those returning from abroad to ensure they remain in quarantine. , a move that will require ministerial and legal approvals.
Another option that has been considered is to get passengers to take a test before boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport, quarantine immediately upon arrival and then pass a second test four days later. If it is clear, the passenger will be released from self-isolation according to the plan. The United Kingdom has been piloting a similar scheme since mid-December.
Edelstein said at the meeting that stricter measures would have to be taken to stop the spread of the virus in Israel as a result of international travel.
“There is no escape from draconian measures to combat the phenomenon. What we see here is the pandemic that is importing into the country. It must be stopped immediately, “Edelstein said.
The meeting came with the news of a virus outbreak at a hotel in the Dead Sea, when 10 employees at the Isrotel Hotel confirmed that they had a coronavirus.
Hotels in Eilat and the Dead Sea were eligible to open earlier this month after legislation was passed defining them as “special tourist islands”, with tourists required to present a negative coronavirus result no more than 72 hours before entering in these areas.
The health ministry said Sunday morning that 572 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed the previous day. New daily numbers are usually lower on Sundays as testing levels fall over the weekend.
However, of the 17,163 tests performed on Saturday, 3.3 percent returned positive. As early as Wednesday, the positivity rate was 1.8%. Recently, their number has increased over the weekends and then decreased.
The reduced number of cases came after three consecutive days, when new daily infections reached 1,000, after remaining under this cornerstone for more than a month.
The number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic is 335,132, of which 9,951 are active cases.
The death toll was 2,854.
According to the ministry, there were 273 people in serious condition, 100 of whom were fans. Another 90 people were in moderate condition and the rest had mild or no symptoms.
Senior health officials have warned of rising morbidity, even as the government continues to lift restrictions.