Gantz, Ashkenazi violate COVID-19 quarantine regulations - report

The two did not enter quarantine despite knowing that they'd been in contact with Blue and White MK Hila Shai-Vazan, who was confirmed as infected last week.

Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on June 28, 2020. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on June 28, 2020.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi violated coronavirus quarantine regulations, according to the Health Ministry, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
The two did not enter quarantine despite knowing that they'd been in contact with Blue and White MK Hila Shai-Vazan, who was confirmed as infected last week, at a Blue and White Hanukkah candle lighting party and were seen at a hotel in Jerusalem for two hours after receiving the official order from the Health Ministry to enter quarantine.
A number of MKs and government officials were forced to enter quarantine after Shai-Vazan was confirmed as infected.
Gantz and Ashkenazi claimed that they had received permission to delay entering quarantine, but the Health Ministry denies that this is true, according to Army Radio.
Gantz's office even published a statement on that day saying that he had entered quarantine, despite the fact that he was at the hotel and not in quarantine. Gantz's office told Army Radio that he entered quarantine exactly as Health Ministry regulations require.
Ashkenazi's office told Army Radio that he received the order to enter quarantine while he was at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and that after he told the epidemiological investigator that the event at which Shai-Vazan was present took place outside and that he did not come into contact with her, he was told that he could wait until further investigations were completed. An hour later, the investigator called Ashkenazi back and informed him that he would still need to enter quarantine after which he immediately left the hotel to enter quarantine at his home, according to the statement by his office.
The Health Ministry denied the claims, stating that no permit to delay entering quarantine was issued, with ministry officials telling Army Radio that moving around in the public sphere after being informed that you were in contact with an infected patient is "no less than putting lives at risk."
"When a person is told that he must go into quarantine, he must obey. If he wishes to appeal, he must do so while in quarantine," stressed Health Ministry deputy director-general Prof. Itamar Grotto to Army Radio.

An intern in the Knesset's legal department was confirmed as infected with the coronavirus on Tuesday, as the coronavirus outbreak at the Knesset continues to spread.
Multiple employees at the Knesset and MKs have been confirmed as infected in recent weeks.
One of the workers confirmed as infected was responsible for handing out coffee to MKs, meaning that she came into contact with all of the MKs, according to Channel 12.