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Israel Taking Extraordinary Steps to Mitigate Coronavirus

The Israeli Government is implementing widespread policies to minimize the spread and impact of the coronavirus on the country. 

Effective 27 February, the Government of Israel has suspended entry into the country for any foreign national who has recently traveled Italy. The Israeli Government had previously banned entry for foreign nationals who had recently visited China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Any Israeli returning from one of the countries on the list is required to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

The Israel Health Ministry is also advising Israelis against travel to any foreign country at this time. While governments have advised their citizens not to travel to specific countries such as China, South Korea or Italy, which are experiencing a high number of cases of the coronavirus, Israel is the first country to advise against all global travel.

The Israeli Government has also banned flights between Israel and the countries most affected by the coronavirus. In most situations, it is the airline as opposed to the government which has determined to suspend flights to China or South Korea. The major airline of Israel, El Al, has suspended flights to China, South Korea and most recently Italy and Thailand.

El Al is adjusting for the financial implications of the coronavirus and the suspended flights. The airline is developing plans to lay off 1,000 employees, which constitutes approximately 16% of its workforce. The airline has also indicated the impact could be even greater pending whether Israelis and travelers from other countries heed the global travel warning.

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How This Impacts Mobility

Israel is taking particularly strong steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus within its borders. The restrictions will have a direct impact on transferees located in the country and travel plans as well as Israeli and foreign business travelers going between Israel and even countries where there are no known cases of coronavirus. The impact on future travel options to Israel could be further limited depending on the final financial impact on Israeli airlines.

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