Israel’s Ministry of Health has added Japan and South Korea to the list of countries from which travel to Israel is banned.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals who have been in Japan or South Korea in the past 14 days will be denied entry to Israel.
  • The entry restrictions would not apply to Israeli nationals or permanent residents. Nor would they apply to anyone who only had a connecting flight in one of the countries in question.
  • The Ministry of Health continues to warn against undertaking nonessential travel to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Background: Jurisdictions across the globe have implemented entry bans and other immigration restrictions in order to guard against the spread of coronavirus. Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had “closed land crossings, seaports and airports to arrivals from China.” Israeli nationals and permanent residents were permitted to return to Israel from mainland China, but were subjected to home quarantine. Last week, Israel mandated 14 days of home quarantine for anyone traveling to the country from Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand or Singapore, and then imposed a  ban on travel from these countries. The recommendation to additionally bar entry to travelers from Japan and South Korea represents a further escalation in Israel’s response to the coronavirus.

Analysis & Comments: Those planning travel between Israel and China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand are urged to reconsider their plans. Employers must be prepared to be flexible with employee schedules and start dates for employees who are affected by travel restrictions. The response to the coronavirus is evolving rapidly, and Deloitte will alert clients to additional changes or restrictions as information becomes available.

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