As COVID-19 hotels close, guests say they cost Netanyahu 'a mandate'

Hundreds depart COVID-19 hotels as government cancels obligation to quarantine in them for those returning from overseas.

A man, who flew back from Spain, is seen on the balcony of a hotel where he and other passengers were placed in a two-week quarantine, after the Greek government imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/COSTAS BALTAS)
A man, who flew back from Spain, is seen on the balcony of a hotel where he and other passengers were placed in a two-week quarantine, after the Greek government imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/COSTAS BALTAS)
Hundreds of Israelis left state COVID-19 hotels following the government's decision Saturday to allow those returning from abroad to quarantine at home with electronic bracelets instead of demanding that they remain COVID-19 hotels for a two week period.

The bracelets are meant to ensure returning Israelis will remain in their homes to prevent COVID-19 infection from spreading. 
As the doors of COVID-19 hotels opened on Sunday to let people out, Ofir and Etai Hajaj were able to say farewell to the Olive Tree hotel in Jerusalem, where they spent a week after returning from Costa Rica. 
"They placed us in a hotel even though we have an apartment in Tel Aviv all set up for the two of us that we could have spent these [two weeks of] quarantine in," they said.
The couple also claimed that only 100 people were offered the bracelets when they landed so they could not really use that new option.
They said they mean to quarantine in their home. 
Ruth Szhultz, from Tel Aviv, returned to Israel from Frankfurt and thinks the demand to remain in a COVID-19 hotel was unjustified.
"I did three negative COVID-19 tests in a row and there was a lockdown in Germany as well," she told Ynet on Sunday. 
"I did not have a wild time there or anything like that," she said. 
She claimed the bus to the hotel was mostly empty and thinks most people "found a way to make it to their homes" rather than stay in the hotels. 
"The conditions were awful," said Eili and Yaara who spend their time in Metropolitan Hotel in Tel Aviv when they landed from Dubai.
They said their family members brought them cleaning materials and they left the room in "better shape than the one they got it in." 
Eili claimed the hardest thing was the uncertainty, "every day something new is going on and nobody knows what is going on," he said. "It is a shame we are being managed in this way," he added. 
"These hotels cost [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu a mandate," said Eyal and Gal who were told they must stay in such a hotel after they returned from Switzerland. They claimed they were treated as "inmates" and had better food in the army during basic training. 
All those who left the hotel had to sign an agreement to keep the quarantine at home and were told that a violation of that may mean an NIS 5,000 fine and even time spent in prison. 
The government decided Israelis could return to Israel from the following cities: New York, Toronto, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Kiev, and Hong Kong.
One thousand Israelis are allowed to land daily at the time of this report and the number is meant to increase to 3,000 as the election date, March 23, gets closer.