Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Israeli health ministry is so worried about the spread of Coronavirus in the USA they want to close Israel to US visitors, though other Israeli government departments are pushing back over fears this could harm Israeli-US relations.
Israel weighs barring Americans, quarantine for Israelis coming back from US
Official says government blocking move thus far over fears it could harm economic, political ties with United States; National Security Council to take over coronavirus decisions
By TOI STAFF6 March 2020, 10:21 pm
Israel on Friday was reportedly considering barring entry to citizens of a number of additional countries and forcing returning Israelis to self-quarantine, including from the United States, amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus.
The Health Ministry has been pushing to add the US to a list of destinations from where travelers entering Israel must be quarantined for 14 days, but other unspecified ministries were blocking the move over concerns it could harm political and economic ties with Washington, an unnamed senior government official told Hebrew media.
Amid tensions between various branches of government over how to handle the crisis, Economy Minister Eli Cohen told Channel 12 that Israel’s National Security Council would begin coordinating the response to the virus from Friday.
There are fears that the US is not taking adequate steps to contain the spread, with not enough testing kits immediately available and doubts over the ability of the uninsured to be able to afford tests and treatment.
Beginning Friday morning, Israel banned non-nationals from Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Switzerland. Israelis returning from those countries were instructed Wednesday to enter self-quarantine for a period of 14 days after their last day in those nations. The decision applied retroactively to all who have come from those countries in the last 14 days.
…Read more: https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-weighs-barring-americans-quarantine-for-israelis-coming-back-from-us/
The outbreak in California may have prompted this push, several counties in California are reporting evidence of community spread.