Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Medical staff at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. Jan. 27, 2020

Foreigners who recently traveled to countries in Asia where the coronavirus has spread will be barred from entering Israel, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Monday.

Deri said that guidelines by Israel’s Ministry of Health and general concerns about the possibility of an outbreak in Israel was behind the move, according to a report by i24 New.

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The new restriction will come into force in the coming days and be for foreigners who have traveled within the last two weeks to Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Israel has already banned foreigners who recently visited China from entering the country.

Until now, no cases of coronavirus—officially now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2—have been reported in Israel, the report said.

Separately, Japanese authorities decided to allow uninfected Israelis quarantined on the cruise ship Diamond Princess due to the illness to return to Israel on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. According to Japanese officials, there are a total of 542 confirmed cases of the infection on the cruise ship.

A new study by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the elderly and sick are at the most at risk for infection, the BBC reported on Tuesday. Medical staff are also at high risk, but more than 80 percent of the cases have been mild, the data found.

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