[Updated With Connecting Flight Information] Israel Bans Entry To Visitors From 5 European Countries Over Coronavirus Fears, Will America Be Next?

SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Coronavirus under microscope. Credit: NIAID-RML
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Update: Israel has clarified that passengers connecting in Mainland China, Italy, or South Korea are subject to a 14 day home quarantine and/or denied entry if they can’t home quarantine.

Passengers connecting in Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, or Thailand who did not leave the airport will not be subject to quarantine and will be able to enter the country.

Israel has been home to the harshest coronavirus bans on the planet.

Previously they announced a ban on non-Israelis who have visited China, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand in the past 2 weeks and a 2 week quarantine on Israelis who visited those countries.

Israel is now adding Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland to the list.

Non-Israelis will have to prove that they can home quarantine for 2 weeks in order to enter the country.

With community spread of coronavirus in the US, Israel is going to have to make a very tough decision soon. Do they turn off the tap of lucrative US tourism dollars with the Pesach holiday just around the corner in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in the holy land?

This decision is even harder and more pressing now that at least 5 members of the Jewish community in New Rochelle and a YU student have been diagnosed with coronavirus, the shul there has been closed down as well.

So far it seems like Israel is not yet willing to make that call as they have at this stage for other countries. But as things get worse in the US, it seems like it will be very hard to avoid a US ban without looking completely hypocritical.

Banning entry from the US will be completely devastating for El Al and the Israeli hotel industry.

But it’s a gamble that might look brilliant if Israel manages to avoid the fate of other countries with community coronavirus spread. That’s one big if…

Do you think Israel will ban entry from the US?

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132 Comments On "[Updated With Connecting Flight Information] Israel Bans Entry To Visitors From 5 European Countries Over Coronavirus Fears, Will America Be Next?"

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Barry Reiner

Does that affect flight changes in these countries?


It obviously does..

Barry Reiner

I don’t think that is obvious at all.


It’s not worth it they’ll loose in the long run

Jack out of the Box

If even 1 life is saved it’s all worth it.

CJ Srullowitz

Car accidents kill 40,000 people a year in the U.S. (hundreds of thousands of others are maimed).

Should we ban cars?


We changed planes in Munich this morning on our way to Israel and just arrived. The agent at passport control wanted to know how long we were in Germany and was apparently satisfied that we had not left the airport


Does this include people stopping over in these countries and not leaving the airport?

Where can one find these rules?


Chances are that the connecting flight from the banned country to Israel will be cancelled as the majority of people on the flight are originating from the banned country. Just an opinion here.

high end hobo

What about if you’re on a connecting flight via those countries?


Israel has the virus as well…
A big shul where lots of American bachurim learn is reported to have a member with the virus there too…


Yeah. On rechov yoel. Patient may have been in mikva which is cleaner regularly and probably disinfected since.


Oh my. If it does come to this, would airlines allow free flight cancellations? Booked on United to Israel for April but bought the tickets in January so it doesn’t fit the policy that just came out.

Avivah Kupfer

What policy?


I say just ban people from airports! They have the highest risk!


Right, only allow people who come by ship, like that cruise ship in Japan.

Not Banned

Israel did not ban entry from these 5 countries. They made a requirement to be quarantined, which is almost as bad as banning, but it is not a ban!


Only Israelis are allowed to enter the country and be self quarantined. Non Israelis visitors from these countries are not allowed to enter the country. I have a copy of the letter sent from the Israeli embassy in France this morning.


any way to publicly share this letter? can you post it on the forums?


Which thread? And you understand french?


It’s on the official health ministry declaration


Fact: My cousin just entered Israel and he’s not citizen, so I don’t know where you’re taking the information from, maybe it is only for frenchies


Flew from where?


Seems like it’s still not in effect.
From the health ministry website;
“החל מהימים הקרובים, זרים מהמדינות צרפת, גרמניה, שוויץ, ספרד ואוסטריה לא יוכלו להיכנס לישראל, אלא אם יציגו יכולת מוכחת לבידוד בית”


They better not add Serbia to the list.


I AGREE! BTW What is your plan? How will you make your decision whether to fly on April 6th or not- at some point if staying in the US we all gotta make Pesach plans….


I’m having the same dilemma.


Are you flying with Air Serbia too?

a good yeshiva bachur

United switched out their 787 to 777-300 on all flights to TLV

a good yeshiva bachur

Seems like there’s lots of availability in I and IN going to TLV
Flights leaving TLV seem to be pretty full
(Especially near Rosh Chodesh)


Yeshiva guys tried getting flights Thursday Rosh Chodesh and had to either book earlier in week or early the next week


ElAl also switched to a smaller aircraft. Have a ticket to fly in 2 weeks. Just got notice of seat change, the aircraft was at 59 rows not only 50


How ironic, Jews barring Europeans when during the Shoah it was the other way around. Vnehapechu!

Eddie A.

Your logic doesn’t make sense. It’s Jews banning European Jews for the most part


most tourist’s are not jewish.


Does this mean that flights connecting in Zurich from America will be banned entry?


If / when they ever ban the US, they will probably not specify the US. They will probably just issue a general ban on all foreign citizens.


Dan, I love you and buy about 10 or 20% of the deals you post (and am grateful for them) – but I don’t think this is true… given North Korea (“Israel has been home to the harshest coronavirus bans on the planet.”) lol


Wow! You must own A hellova lot of Tide and paper towels and Kleenex!


Do you have a sandisk flash memory muesem

Yisroel Weiss

he’s probably a reseller he just sells all the deals on Amazon or ebay when they are no longer on sale


It’s going to devastate the Israeli economy, but I’m not sure they have a choice at this point, as we’re talking potential life and death issues here.

Terrible for the New Rochelle community as well, and particularly the NR “patient zero” who has respiratory problems and is in serious condition


I hope ISRAEL doesn’t ban US. I’m going tonight for over purim!


Can you bring a small package for me?


Mi Kemacha Yisrael


I was having this discussion with a few friends last week. A ban on the US would severely impact the Israeli economy. The two countries have too good of a relationship for this to happen but who knows….

On a side note, how do these bans works? Does one have to be originally departing from that country? Be a citizen or even have step foot in that country recently? What about a flight connections in that country?

Carl M Sherer

They’ve already ‘severely impacted the economy.’ El Al laid off 1,000 employees yesterday. If they think it’s a problem in the US, they will stop flights from the US too. Europe happens to be a much larger trading partner, and much of Western Europe is now verboten. Don’t fool yourself that they won’t do it to the US.

Having said that, the cases in the US are mostly in specific areas from what I have heard. Seattle. New York. Florida.

Plan-It Israel

We are getting a massive amount of cancellations, Israel doesn’t need to ban it. The people are not interested in flying.


Austria seems to be the outlier here. They have only 27 cases. The other newly banned countries have anywhere from 93 to 244. The U.S. has more than Switzerland or Austria.


Austria is a small country. So the % is greater


I think that the biggest outlier – Russia
Only 5 confirmed cases

Aryeh B

Key word there is “confirmed”, I believe Russia’s stats almost as much as I believe what the Chinese are spewing.


I think that its undereported globally – even more so in developing countries as well as the US. It seems that even the US has a shortage of tests and labs that can test.

I’m just speculating about the underreporting but a lack of testing = lack of confirmed cases.


So if I have a stopover on Air France to Israel April 1 …they will cancel me?


הודעה לציבור
11 הצעדים של משרד הבריאות להתגונן בפני הקורונה:

1. ישראלים השבים מ- צרפת, גרמניה, שוויץ, ספרד אוסטריה יחויבו בבידוד בית למשך 14 יום, ההחלטה רטרואקטיבית מיום עזיבת היעד.
2. זרים ממדינות אלו לא יוכלו להיכנס לישראל, אלא עם יציגו יכולת מוכחת לבידוד בית. ישום החלטה זו יכנס לתוקף בימים הקרובים.
3. איסור גורף לקיום כנסים בינלאומיים בישראל.
4. תושבי ישראל השבים מכינוסים בינלאומיים בחו״ל– יחויבו בבידוד בית 14 יום.
5. עובדי מערכת הבריאות – איסור גורף לצאת לחו”ל.
6. חל איסור לקיים אירועים המוניים והתקהלויות מעל 5,000 איש.
7. חל איסור השתתפות בהתכנסויות מעל 100 איש , לאנשים שחזרו מכל יעד בחו״ל
ב 14 הימים האחרונים.
8. המלצה לנציב שירות המדינה לאסור באופן גורף יציאות עובדים לחו”ל.
9. המלצה לבני 60 ומעלה ולבעלי מחלות רקע כרוניות כגון מחלות לב , סכרת ,יתר לחץ דם , מחלות נשימתיות או דיכוי חיסוני , להימנע מהתקהלויות וממגע עם אנשים ששבו מכל יעד בחו״ל או בעלי תסמינים או אנשים החשודים כחולים.
10. תיירים ששהו באיראן, עיראק, סוריה, לבנון (ב-14 יום האחרונים) לא יורשו להיכנס.
11. משרד הבריאות ממליץ להקפיד הקפדה יתרה על היגיינה ולהימנע מלחיצות ידיים.

אייל בסון
דובר משרד הבריאות

Take a look @ #2. Might wanna add it to the post.

Google Translate

The Ministry of Health announced today 11 steps that will allow the public to defend themselves against the Corona:

1. Israelis returning from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain Austria – will be charged with home isolation for 14 days, the retroactive decision from the date of departure.

2. Foreigners from these countries will not be able to enter Israel unless they have a proven ability to isolate a home. Implementation of this decision will take effect in the coming days.

3. Prohibition on holding international conferences in Israel.

4. Residents of Israel returning from international conferences abroad – will be charged with home isolation for 14 days.

5. Health care workers – a blanket ban on going abroad.

6. More than 5,000 people are not allowed to hold mass events and crowds.

7. Participation in gatherings of over 100 persons is prohibited, for persons returning from any destination abroad in the last 14 days.

8. Recommendation to the Civil Service Commissioner to prohibit workers’ ports overseas.

9. Recommendation for those aged 60 and over and those with chronic background illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disease, or immunosuppression, to avoid crowds and contact with people returning from any destination abroad or those with symptoms or people suspected of being blue.

10. Tourists staying in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon (in the last 14 days) will not be allowed.

11. The Health Ministry recommends strict hygiene and avoiding handshakes.

Reb Tuvia

“…Implementation of this decision will take effect in the coming days…”
Not implemented yet??


#9: “or people suspected of being blue” is a translation error… should be “or people suspected of being (as) sick”


my advice to all toilet brush knesset members to take all people who are at risk of contracting the virus due to weakness of immune system etc and place them under quarantine and stop harassing the economy including the majority healthy people who can cope with this virus, and let travel continue as normal…


If a Israeli family visits NY and plans to return to Israel and they institute this ban, what will happen?


They will need to self quarantine for 14 days


What would be if you are married and one spouse is Israeli and one spouse is american. Would they allow the American into the country(Assuming they might ban the US)

a mirrer

based on the wording of the health ministry regulation as long as a non-israeli can show the means to self-quarantine i.e. lives in israel they will be allowed into the country and ordered to self-quarantine


Is it possible to clarify the policy re airport connections?

Jonathan Ezor

Our daughter is coming home to the U.S. from seminary in Israel for the Pesach break. We’re concerned that she might not be allowed back after Pesach.


So is my son. He is debating if he should stay over yom tov, since he does not want to have to stay here for next zman


why don’t Jonathan and Nochum make a shidduch? Then their kids could just stay in the US!

Jack out of the Box

I’d be concerned that she’ll have to choose between staying here or staying home after Pesach.


Anyway to find out if this affects connecting passengers? Flying with Swiss today!

Reb Tuvia

Let us know if you have any updates because we’re flying Swiss next week..

Reb Tuvia

I called Lufthansa they said NO ENTRY even for layover visitors.. But before I cancel I wanna call the Israeli Health Ministry.


Lufthansa planes are grounded to tel Aviv. They cancelled my flight this morning even though I’m transiting through Frankfurt from Vancouver


The New Rochelle patient actually got the virus in Israel!
So, If anything, America should ban Israel, not the other way around.


Where did you see that? The articles I’ve read said that he was in Florida about a month ago, not Israel.


before florida he was in israel


As far as I am aware, the incubation period is no more than 24 days. So how could he have possibly contracted the virus in Israel more than a month ago? Much more likely in Florida or in the airport/plane.

Carl M Sherer

He was in shul in New Rochelle on February 22-23. Those are the magic days. 24 days before that would be the end of January. No one knows for sure if he got it in Florida or in Israel, but it is entirely possible he got it in Israel.


That’s the confusing part. Yeshiva break was Jan 16-Jan 24, and that is when the vast majority of NY-ers visited. If his trip to Israel was *before* that, then how is it possible?

Carl M Sherer

It probably was after that.


is their a chance israel will close ben gurion


How are home quarantines being enforced?


Lufthansa just provided a full refund for a RT I had booked a few months ago for Pesach in USA of TLV-ZRH-NYC-MUC-TLV without any issue.


Wow, to original form of payment?


Did you call them? Or do it online.


Hey Gary. How long did u wait for the refund? They cancelled mine this morning – I’m waiting for refund they confirmed


What will happen to all the bachurim learning in Israeli yeshivahs that are going home for pesach for example the Mir


Yeah it will be a crazy Yuntif!


Please don’t ban Serbia!

Carl M Sherer

Dan, they haven’t banned entry. They’ve said that you have to quarantine for 14 days, and that if you’re not an Israeli citizen, you have to prove that you have a place to self-quarantine.

Reb Tuvia

In other words banned entry for short term visitors..

Carl M Sherer

Hard for me to think of it that way. I live in Israel and haven’t spent more than 14 consecutive days there since late November – early December…. But yes, you’d be right.


Anyone really willing to cause illness to those in their family? Maybe death? Maybe to their self? Others? Unbelievable!! Open your eyes, but don’t rub them

meah shearim

will flights from israel to Spain be afected?

Carl M Sherer

Did you read the post? YES!


The way it works in Israel with ANYTHING is the ones “in charge” do whatever they want. So even if there is a ban on US you might get in and even if not they might not let you…

Carl M Sherer

Can we please try to keep this in perspective? Yes, COVID-19 can be deadly. So is the flu, which kills thousands every year. Maybe we should never leave home, just have the delivery service drop off our groceries and open the door after they are gone so we never direct contact with anyone outside our immediate family? And how about automobile accidents, which also kills thousands every year? Everyone giving up driving or riding in a vehicle? The panic is way worse than the disease!

Carl M Sherer

True. But the mortality rate from the flu is 0.1% and the mortality rate from Covid19 is about 3.4%. That’s a huge difference. Also, with the flu you have a warning before it’s onset. Covid19’s onset is very fast. Look at all the videos of people collapsing in the streets in Iran. Automobile accidents? If only people would drive with the same sense of self-preservation that they are using for this virus.


Do you really believe those videos? I don’t believe everything I see or read. How do we know what those people died of etc?

Carl M Sherer



So true!!!

health ministry link
israel bucher

its not about me being worried about getting it i’m worried i wont be able to leave Israel


That’s one way of being forced to settle the land.


And what about those making Aliyah in the next 2 months like myself? Will they let me become a citizen?


T4 Status


My shul in Westchester, which is 10 minutes from the New Rochelle shul, sent out an e mail this morning advising no handshakes, fist pumps, or kisses hello at Shabbat services and morning/evening Minyan. We’re discussing leaving sanctuary doors propped open. FYI, this would negate our recently introduced security magnetic door closures.

What’s a shul to do? Hard choices for sure.

Mimi k

Kisses hello? Fistbumps?
Sounds like a very friendly shul.
I daven with Chassidim but all I get is handshakes….


And herring
(toothpicks mandatory now)


These decisions aren’t motivated by $$$. The French ban is much more devastating to the Israeli economy than a US one. Many more flights from France and lots of French money flowing to Israel for Pesach and year around.

So it will all depend on how many cases the US gets.

One concern that might interfere is a political one.


France, Germany and Spain is not mentioned in the link to Israeli Ministry of Health


@Dan where did u get the info on stopovers in France? I can’t find that info on that link. Thanks!


Dan I have a stopover in Spain. the link you gave gives no info. on Spain and some other countries you mentioned


Ppl have OVERREACTED!!!! Everyone is acting like this is Ebola virus- , or measles! It is not. The majority of ppl who come down with the flu in any given flu season are SUBCLINICAL!!!! Therefore the only ppl who ultimately get factored into the equation for statistical reporting purposes are ppl who were sick enough (or immunocompromised) to show up at the doctor’s office (or hospital Chas v shalom) and thereby get factored into the CDC statistics (or WHO stats). So it will be the same with the corona virus.
Best advise:
Wash your hands…a lot!!!
Eat healthy
Drink plenty of water (especially in the am)
Get quality sleep
Get fresh air!!!
Have a bowel movement once a day (at least!!)


as of now today can one enter from austria without being qaurentined when is exactly will this new rule go in affect?


Home Quarantine Decree

All travelers from mainland China or South Korea must be placed under 14-day home quarantine. The Home Quarantine Decree applies to connecting flights in mainland China or South Korea.
All travelers from Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore Thailand, or Japan must be placed under 14-day home quarantine. The Home Quarantine Decree does not apply to connecting flights in these locations, only if you did not leave the airport.
All travelers from Italy must be placed under home quarantine. Travelers who left Italy since February 13 2020 must be immediately placed under a 14-day home quarantine. The Home Quarantine Decree applies to connecting flights in Italy.
All travelers from Austria, Germany, Spain, France, or Switzerland must be immediately placed under 14-day home quarantine from the date of departure.

Strange- doesn’t say stopovers in EU countries don’t need to quarantine


* Strange- doesn’t say stopovers in the 5 last countries listed don’t need to quarantine


We are planning on going to Israel for pesach flying Ukraine Air out of jfk. I haven’t read anything at all about Ukraine. Do you know if we will be quarantined in Israel?


If you travel away from home and then you don’t travel back, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MEDICAL COVERAGE for the unexpected portion of your stay!


From what I am reading here, passengers from the USA transferring through France to Israel will be allowed entry into Israel? Is that correct?

martin kay

We scheduled all our family ( over 20 people) to go oleh haregel last succot ( first time ever not being home for pesach)and the measles scare in israel made us have to cancel due to newborns.Our flights were not all refundable and the condo renters did not reimburse us either.We rescheduled for all of us this pesach and this happens. We are traveling on United out of San Francisco.I am not sure whether to cancel again or wait for more news. If we have to cancel, any ideas as to best way to do it?


For those out of the loop its a fight litzman vs bibi
Litzman is pushing hard to add uk and several us cities to the list

Rachelle Shika

Does anyone have any information on people coming FROM Israel TO America, stopping through Moscow??? Please post link