IDF Bans Soldiers’ Travel Abroad

Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, IDF spokesman. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/File)

The IDF continued to impose restrictions on travel and training Thursday in its effort to limit the spread of coronavirus in the ranks.

All soldiers are now barred from travel abroad, a day after the cancellation of the major biannual joint exercise with U.S. missile defense units known as Juniper Cobra. That came only a day after important joint operation, Eagle Genesis. The travel ban goes into effect on Friday at noon.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters that other measures are also being planned, in consultation with the Health Ministry. In some cases, the army was being even stricter in its antivirus policies than the Ministry requires.

So far, only one IDF soldier has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, though hundreds have been quarantined due to exposure to the illness, The Times of Israel said.

Zilberman said the military was prepared to take whatever steps necessary to ensure the health of the soldiers and operational capabilities.

“If a soldier had the virus and was in contact with his company and we have to [quarantine] the company, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.