Israel advises against foreign travel over virus concerns

Israel has advised its citizens to reconsider all foreign travel amid the spread of the new coronavirus that was first reported in China

JERUSALEM -- Israel on Wednesday advised its citizens to reconsider all foreign travel amid the global spread of the new coronavirus that was first reported in China.

The Health Ministry also ordered people to avoid travel to Italy and said anyone returning from there would be required to enter home quarantine for 14 days. That rule will take effect on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry said people should “consider the necessity of traveling abroad in general, in addition to the requirement for people to go into isolation (quarantine) when returning from certain countries.”

It also urged people to avoid international conferences.

Israel has already cancelled all flights to and from China and mandated 14 days of home quarantine for travelers from a number of Asian countries.

Israel has reported two infections of the coronavirus, which causes a potentially fatal illness known as COVID-19. Both were passengers who were flown home and immediately placed in isolation after being on a cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan.

The outbreak has infected more than 80,000 people globally and killed more than 2,700.