Israel closes borders: Foreign nationals are no longer permitted entry due to the coronavirus

BREAKING: Israel announced that it was barring all foreign nationals from entering the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Immigration Authority has decided to temporarily bar entry to foreigners following a recommendation by the Ministry of Health.

The new ban took effect immediately.

The Public Security Ministry said that compulsory closures enforced by security forces could soon be imposed across the country.

As of March 12, non-Israelis who could prove an ability to self-quarantine for two weeks, have been allowed into the country.

Under the new ban, even those who are able to self-quarantine will be denied entry to the country.

The number of infected Israelis jumped by more than 40% to 433 in the past 24 hours. The jump in confirmed cases of the coronavirus is at least partly due to an increase in testing.

Two coronavirus patients, both in their 70s, have taken a turn for the worse and are being treated in Tel Aviv area hospitals. Another patient is severely ill at Rabin Medical Center.

Eli Beer, the President and founder of United Hatzalah is currently in a Miami Intensive Care Unit. He was scheduled to return to Israel but stayed in the US to raise money for the coronavirus crisis. He attended a Purim event in Miami where several people become stricken with the virus.

Five weeks after the first confirmed infection in Israel, no Israelis have yet died of the coronavirus.

“We assess that scenarios like in Italy and Spain can happen here too,” the Health Ministry director said. “In the coming days, the rate of new cases will rise — to 100 a day or more. We may come to a situation of hundreds of more cases each day. People will die — possibly even in the next few days.”