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Israel to transfer all travelers from abroad to quarantine facilities

A man walks in an empty arrivals hall in the Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, Israel, near Tel Aviv, on Wednesday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
A man walks in an empty arrivals hall in the Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, Israel, near Tel Aviv, on Wednesday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

April 1 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday mandated that all new arrivals to the country must be placed into quarantine.

He made the announcement after the country's death toll from COVID-19 increased to 25 and the number of confirmed cases reached 6,092.

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Netanyahu ordered the Defense Ministry to handle the transfer of all people entering Israel from abroad to specified hotels and other quarantine facilities.

Before Wednesday's order, travelers from abroad were forced to enter a 14-day quarantine. Also, non-Israelis who aren't based in Israel aren't allowed in the country amid coronavirus restrictions.

Israel's Channel 12 reported that hundreds of people have been entering the country without being tested and without entering isolation, including passengers on a flight from New York, the epicenter of the United States' outbreak.

Former Health Minister Gabi Barabash told the channel that without stricter measures, Israel was in danger of "simply becoming a branch of New York."

"People will just fly here from there," he said. "Everything we've achieved to date will be lost. It's intolerable."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the state has recorded 1,941 deaths and has more than 83,000 cases.

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