Israel issued a travel warning to Italy on Wednesday following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, and in a drastic move urged Israelis to reconsider all non-essential travel abroad.
In addition, the Health Ministry said that anyone returning from Italy will have to immediately enter a 14-day quarantine, making it the first European country to which Israel issued a travel advisory.
Italian authorities earlier said a 12th person had died in northern Italy from the virus, while the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 374, the biggest in Europe. The United States also earlier issued a travel advisory to Italy, urging the Americans to "exercise increased caution" over the spread of the disease.
“The Health Ministry urges the public to consider the necessity of traveling abroad in general, beyond the obligation to self-quarantine when returning from specific countries,” said the ministry in a statement. “The assessment is that there is a high probability the disease has already spread to other regions of Europe and many other places in the world.”
“In addition, travelling to conferences and other international congregations should be avoided, including trips to religious events where people from many countries gather together.”
The latest announcement effectively extends the list of countries the Health Ministry deemed too dangerous to visit over the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Among the current destinations with a travel advisory are China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Reuters contributed to this report