Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Egged bus (illustrative)

Israel’s Transportation Ministry has added another restriction to the already draconian measures being taken to reduce social interactions in the country, thereby also reducing the risk of transmission of the virulently contagious COVID-19 coronavirus.

Effective 10 pm Tuesday, all public transportation ceases operations at 8 pm each night, and no longer operates on the weekends – meaning buses and trains will no longer run from 8 pm Thursday, until early Sunday morning.

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Public transportation is, for the time being, still expected to continue operating as usual during the daylight hours from Sunday through Thursday, in employment centers, supermarkets, at health maintenance organization medical clinics (kupat holim) and hospitals and pharmacies. However, the bus routes will no longer run to educational institutions, because classes are not being held.

“What is in front of us is the health of Israeli citizens and maintaining maximum functional continuity for the economy, in accordance with the current circumstances,” Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich said.

“I understand the difficulties Israeli citizens face; we are amidst critical days. Please, avoid traveling on public transportation and observe the Health Ministry guidelines,” Smotrich added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.