IDF to Hold Off Reserve Duty for Visitors to Thailand

An Israeli soldier aims his weapon during a Palestinian protest in the Jordan Valley, Jan. 31. (Reuters/Raneen Sawafta)

Seeking to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the close quarters of army service, the IDF has canceled service for reserve soldiers who have visited Thailand recently. Thailand is currently not on the list of countries that the Health Ministry requires Israelis who visited there to isolate themselves. Other countries that are not among the six that require self-isolation will be added to the IAF’s list, the army said Monday.

Currently, IDF personnel are not allowed to visit China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Soldiers, both regular and reserve, who have booked trips to these destinations must cancel their plans. Reserve soldiers who have visited any of these places in the past two weeks – even if they are not required to isolate themselves – will not be called up for reserve duty, the IDF said.

In a statement, the army said that “the IDF operates according to the instructions of the Health Ministry, but in certain cases we go beyond those rules. After consultation with health officials the IDF has decided to take extra precautions in order not to endanger missions at army bases. We are evaluating the situation on a daily basis, and when it is possible these restrictions will be rescinded.”