Israeli authorities have introduced on Tuesday a host of new directives aimed at fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country.
The Health Ministry tightened its restrictions on the number of participants in public events, further reducing the maximum attendance allowed from 5,000 people to 2,000 people, while also urging the public to reconsider holding mass gatherings of any kind.
The ministry also advises the public to refrain from visiting hospitals, nursing homes or any other location where senior citizens may be found.
“The Health Ministry recommends that the elderly population, especially those with a history of health problems, reduce contact with [members of the general public] as possible while still maintaining their routine,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Welfare Ministry also announced earlier Tuesday that visiting nursing homes will be barred indefinitely in light of the virus outbreak.
“Due to the vulnerability of the elderly population and the need to maintain their health, family visits will only be allowed to take place outside the nursing homes,” the ministry said.
Israel Police announced that it will receive all information on nationals returning to the country to assist its units in enforcing the mandatory 14-day home quarantine for all arrivals from overseas.
In addition, Israel Police and the Health Ministry have set up designated task forces, consisting of police officers and health inspectors to prevent quarantine violations.
Also, passengers arriving from abroad will no longer be allowed to use the Ben Gurion Airport train station starting Wednesday, Israel Railways announced on Tuesday.
The station will still be available for airport workers as well as Israelis traveling within the country who will be required to show their plane ticket before being allowed into the station.
Earlier Tuesday, the Health Ministry confirmed that eight more Israelis have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the country's total number of cases to 58.
Five of the patients have recently returned from overseas, while three others have contracted the virus after coming in direct contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
Israel has taken some of the most extreme precautions to prevent a local coronavirus outbreak, forcing tens of thousands of Israeli travelers returning from a host of destinations in Asia and Europe into home quarantine.
On Monday, the government said any person entering the country from abroad, whether an Israeli national or not, must spend two weeks in quarantine.
The Health Ministry website has full details of the locations visited by coronavirus sufferers in Israel.