Two hundred Israelis in quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure

The group of teachers and students were told to self-isolate after mixing with South Korean tourists who later tested positive



Two hundred Israelis are in quarantine after Korean tourists to Israel and the West Bank tested positive for coronavirus on their return home.

The Israeli students and teachers were told to self-isolate having been in several tourist sites at the same time as the group, 18 of whom tested positive for the virus.

Separately, a South Korean airliner that landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Saturday evening was sent back to Seoul after the 12 Israelis on board were evacuated and quarantined, according to Times of Israel

South Korea protested strongly to the Israeli government over the incident.

The Israeli health ministry said that from Monday, Israel will ban all foreign nationals who have been to South Korea and Japan in the past 14 days from entering the country, over concerns they could spread the virus.

It also said on Saturday saying that Israel could soon close its borders to all non-citizens, but later appeared to row back on the statement. A notice on the Health Ministry’s website said, “Checkpoints will most likely be closed soon to anyone who is not an Israeli resident.”

On Friday, Israel said a passenger who was quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan was diagnosed with the virus after he was flown home with a group of 11 Israelis. This was the first case of the virus to be reported inside Israel. 

The plane was directed to a remote area of the airport and passengers were immediately taken to Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv, where they will remain in quarantine for another 14 days.

Three other Israelis are being treated in Japan after contracting the virus on the cruise ship.

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