ישראלים שנחתו מדובאי ונכנסים לבידוד במלונית
Israelis returning from Dubai being taken to isolate in government-run hotels on Wednesday
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Israelis returning from Dubai being taken to isolate in government-run hotels on Wednesday

With 3rd lockdown in place, Israel may scrap hotel quarantine order

Deputy health minister says there is no indication that isolation in designated locations is more effective than home isolation, says that since Pfizer vaccine is effective against new strain of virus, there is less urgent need for enforcement

Adir Yanko |
Published: 12.28.20 , 20:51
Israeli health officials said Monday that they are considering lifting the order for nationals returning from abroad to quarantine in government-run hotels, as it is seen as unnecessary during a countrywide lockdown.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Israel on Sunday went into its third lockdown since the start of the pandemic, closing shops, businesses and entertainment centers for at least two weeks, and restricting people to no more than 1km from their homes.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ישראלים שנחתו מדובאי ונכנסים לבידוד במלונית
    ישראלים שנחתו מדובאי ונכנסים לבידוד במלונית
    Israelis returning from Dubai being taken to isolate in government-run hotels on Wednesday
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Meanwhile, the country has also embarked on a mass vaccination campaign and is currently the world leader in administering the vaccine, with 4.37 people per 100 of the population having already received the first dose.
    The decision on isolating in hotels must be taken before Thursday, when the government order expires. Officials have failed to enforce the regulation with more than 50% of returning travelers refusing to go to the government-run facilities.
    "We send those who make trouble home, we just cannot deal with them," one official stationed at Ben-Gurion International Airport said Sunday.
    Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch told Ynet on Monday that since the Pfizer vaccine is considered to be effective against the new strain of COVID-19, and since vaccination of Israelis over the age of 60 or with underlying illnesses is already underway, there is no real need to quarantine in hotels.
    Health Minister Yuli Edelstein agreed. "The vaccines appear to be effective against the new strain," he said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    אכיפה משטרתית של מפרי בידוד
    אכיפה משטרתית של מפרי בידוד
    Police stopping a person found violating quarantine last month
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    After hearing from officials that home quarantines were not being observed by more than 40% of those instructed to isolate, the government decided last week that all Israelis returning from abroad must be transported from the airport directly to the hotels.
    According to Health Ministry directives, the quarantine period could be shortened from 14 days to 10 provided individuals had two negative coronavirus tests.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בדיקת קורונה בכיכר רבין בתל אביב
    בדיקת קורונה בכיכר רבין בתל אביב
    Testing for coronavirus at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    An official told Ynet that the order for hotels will likely now be rescinded.
    "There is no need to extend the order. It has been criticized and there is no indication that hotel quarantine is more effective, especially now that a lockdown is in effect," he said.
    Talkbacks for this article 0