Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this week  the introduction of mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving from abroad amid coronavirus fears.

“After a day of tough discussions, we made a decision — everyone who arrives in Israel from abroad is sent to quarantine for 14 days. This is a difficult decision, but it is vital to maintain the health of the society, since the health of society is above all,” Netanyahu said in a video address.

The Israeli Health Ministry previously called on citizens to avoid flights to Italy, as well as to weigh the need to visit other countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. Israelis returning from Italy are sent home for quarantine for two weeks. The same measures apply for arrivals from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland.

In February, Israel suspended air traffic with China and banned all foreigners who had visited China from entering Israel.

According to the latest data from the Israeli Health Ministry, 39 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in the country.

So far, the number of people who contracted the coronavirus disease globally has exceeded 110,000, while over 3,800 died. The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that the threat of the coronavirus outbreak becoming a global pandemic was real after the virus slipped in over 100 countries.