Photo Credit: Andre Wadman / Wikimedia
El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 737-858

Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines is planning to temporarily suspend flights to Thailand in accordance with the Health Ministry’s directive this week requiring a mandatory 14-day home quarantine for all those returning from the country, as well as those returning from other nations in the region, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, as well as China.

El Al’s CEO Gonen Usishkin wrote in a message to employees on Monday that the company is “going through hard times which will require us to take some drastic and painful decisions. We are in the midst of a global event, with its final effects far from being predicted,” he wrote.


Likewise, the Thai Embassy in Israel has also instructed its own citizens to refrain from traveling to Israel as well.

In addition, Cathay Pacific Airlines of Hong Kong, which operates five direct flights each week from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport to Hong Kong, is poised to temporarily cancel its flights to and from Israel as well.

Israel’s Health Ministry is instructing Israelis who return from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau to remain in a solitary quarantine area, either in a residence or a medical facility, explaining “The directive was issued because of the spread of the virus in countries beyond China, and to prevent its spread in Israel.”

Even if the returning traveler experiences no symptoms, they are required to self-quarantine for the full 14 days. If someone has returned from East Asia and DOES experience fever, breathing difficulties or coughing, they are asked to IMMEDIATELY contact their health care provider and/or a hospital, but NOT to travel by public transportation, and to first call ahead.

Those under quarantine must remain separate from the rest of the household for the entire period; any necessary contact must be carried out with surgical masks and gloves for the protection of both parties.