March 4, 2020 / 3:45 PM / a month ago

CORRECTED-Israel adds 5 countries to coronavirus air travel restrictions

(Correcting number of countries in paragraph 3)

JERUSALEM, March 4 (Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday ordered travellers arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland to go into home quarantine over coronavirus concerns.

Israel has already imposed the measure with regard to flights from Italy, China and Singapore.

Announcing that it was widening the restriction to include five more European countries, the Health Ministry also ordered all international conferences in Israel cancelled and banned gatherings of more than 5,000 participants.

Israelis flying home from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland will have to remain at home for 14 days under the edict, which will effectively cut off foreign tourism from those nations.

Israel has reported 15 coronavirus cases. Around 5,000 Israelis who returned from hotspots of the disease have been quarantined at home.

At a news conference where the new measures were announced, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advised Israelis to stop shaking hands to help halt the spread of the virus. (Editing by Jeffrey Heller/Mark Heinrich)

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