נפתלי בנט בנאום על התמודדות עם משבר הקורונה
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett
Photo: GPO
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett

DM calls to nix obligatory isolation in 'coronavirus hotels' for overseas arrivals

Bennett says continued operation will cost whopping NIS 250 million per month; returnees will commit to adhere to shelter-in-place orders and only those unable to self-isolate will be taken to hotels

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 05.03.20 , 18:32
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called on Sunday to stop automatically sending Israelis returning from overseas into isolation at specially designated hotels.
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  • "We've come to the point where we advise the National Security Council (NSC), along with almost all government ministries, to cease automatically sending all returnees from overseas into two-week isolation in hotels," said Bennett.
    נפתלי בנט בנאום על התמודדות עם משבר הקורונהנפתלי בנט בנאום על התמודדות עם משבר הקורונה
    Defense Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: GPO)
    The Yamina leader said that the continued operation of these hotels will take a heavy toll on the mental state of those in isolation, as well as bite off a large chunk of Israel's budget.
    "[Isolation in "coronavirus hotels"] may cause severe mental problems and carries astronomic costs with it. According to an estimate I've received this morning, another month of this will cost the State of Israel a quarter billion shekels a month. I think this is a mistake, this is our proposal to the NSC, and I will fight for the hard-earned money of the citizens of Israel."
    חולים במלון דן פנורמהחולים במלון דן פנורמה
    Isolated Israeli at Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    I think people should be sent home for isolation instead, after giving a written declaration that they're aware that any violation of the shelter-in-place orders will have criminal repercussions, and we will have an enforcement authority that will enforce it."
    "We will send to hotels only those who aren't able to self-isolate. It made sense as long as we had 100 arrivals a day, now we are approaching 400 a day and we will also reach 1,000-2,000 a day soon enough. We will end up spending all of Israel's money on putting people in hotels for nothing."
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