Coronavirus: Israel Police step up efforts to prevent the spread

Police opened 21 criminal investigations into individuals who violated quarantine orders.

Israel Police vehicle (Illustrative) (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Israel Police vehicle (Illustrative)
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Israel Police announced on Friday that it began stepping up its measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including ensuring that gatherings of over 100 people were not taking place and those  required to be in isolation do not exit the place in which they are quarantined.
Police opened 21 criminal investigations into individuals who violated quarantine orders. As of March 9, anyone returning to Israel from abroad is required to spend 14 days in isolation
"At the moment a specially formed task force composed of police and health inspectors continues to carry out home checks to ensure that people are in isolation," the Police Foreign Press Spokesperson's Office wrote in a press release on Friday. "Police are also making sure that those who have returned from abroad are in isolation."
The isolation requirement applies to both Israelis and foreign travelers alike. No non-citizens will be able to enter Israel without proving they have a place to stay out their quarantine.
"Police are calling on the public to keep to the strict instructions of the Health Ministry to fight the outbreak of the virus and its spreading in Israel," the statement said.
 
Officers checked more than 200 businesses, such as event halls, pubs, clubs and restaurants across the country on Thursday night and that most were adhering to the Health Ministry's instructions. However, they also reported that actions were taken and some crowds were dispersed at the 14 businesses they found that violated the new policies. 
"It is forbidden to put out any false information or fake news that can endanger the public's health," the statement continued. Police also emphasized the importance of obtaining correct and official information regarding coronavirus only from the Health Ministry.
"The police will continue to increase its operations in assisting the Health Ministry to enforce the law and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Israel."

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.