Coronavirus: Quarantine hotels to reopen until better solution available

State-run hotels for isolating people returning from abroad have attracted much criticism over the past few months, with some questioning their effectiveness.

IDF soldiers at the entrance of a coronavirus hotel (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
IDF soldiers at the entrance of a coronavirus hotel
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Passengers returning to Israel from abroad will be required to enter coronavirus hotels until the Health Ministry provides more effective solutions, Israeli media reported Tuesday night. 
The decision to reopen the quarantine hotels, reached by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK Yaakov Asher, was announced on Tuesday evening and is expected to come into effect immediately. 
On Monday, the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee refused to extend the law regulating the operation of state-run hotels for isolating passengers returning from abroad after the Health Ministry failed to present alternative solutions.
The Israeli government, in turn, limited the number of people allowed to enter the country to only 200 per day, overturning a previous decision that allowed for 2,000 Israelis stuck abroad to enter Israel daily.
However, Netanyahu has apparently reassured Asher that the Health Ministry will be presenting alternative plans for supervising people in home isolation, rather than sending them to state-run hotels in the following days, which led to Asher's approval for extending their operation.
Earlier on Tuesday, at least 11 people landing at Ben-Gurion Airport in an emergency flight from New York reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, which may have played a role in the decision to reopen quarantine hotels.
Nonetheless, state-run hotels for isolating people have attracted much criticism over the past few months, with many people complaining of poor conditions and a general sense of anarchy during their stay. 
Others have questioned their effectiveness in blocking the spread of coronavirus in Israel, considering reports of people escaping hotels with minimal consequences.