Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Photo: AFP
COVID-19 testing station at Ben Gurion Airport

Health Ministry mulls electronic tagging for arrivals from abroad

Officials suggest alternative to quarantining in state-run hotels as they struggle to properly process all arrivals in bid to prevent entry of new COVID-19 variants into Israel

Nina Fox |
Published: 02.15.21 , 16:18
The Health Ministry suggested Monday that people who arrive in Israel from abroad will quarantine at home and be affixed an electronic tag instead of being sent to state-run quarantine hotels as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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  • The director of the International Relations Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Asher Shalmon, said that health officials are currently looking into implementing the policy after the coronavirus cabinet voted to raise the number of daily entries to Israel from 600 to 2,000.
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    בדיקות קורונה בנתב"ג
    בדיקות קורונה בנתב"ג
    COVID-19 testing station at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: AFP)
    At a meeting of Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Shalmon told lawmakers that health officials are struggling to properly process the countless requests to enter Israel they are receiving daily and that they will not be able to prevent new variants of COVID-19 from entering the country at such passenger volume.
    The Health Ministry representative noted that they have been promoting electronic tagging of arrivals from abroad for some time, but such a move must be approved by the Knesset plenum.
    "We offer people the option to choose between the hotel option or the electronic option," Shalmon said.
    "We are looking for a way to balance the need to make sure people don't violate quarantine and their rights. The Justice Ministry requires legislation, but we think this restriction is better than the hotel options, but some think differently."
    Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported Monday morning that 3,446 new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed out of 47,336 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, putting Israel's contagion rate at 7.6%.
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    Ben Gurion Airport
    Ben Gurion Airport
    Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: AFP)
    There are currently 990 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in serious condition, of which 284 are connected to ventilators
    The national COVID-19 death toll reached 5,403 fatalities.
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