Buses will operate at 50% capacity and will cease to run on the weekends during the upcoming lockdown, according to the Transportation Ministry.
Minister Miri Regev released the plan for Israel’s public transport on Monday, which includes buses running Sundays through Thursdays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and halting intercity on Friday and Saturday evenings and before holidays. Inner-city buses will operate on Fridays and Saturdays.
Israel Railways will also operate Sundays through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance.
“The decision to close was not an easy one, but it is a necessity,” Regev said.
The Bus Drivers Union welcomed the outline.
“Bus drivers are at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and deserve to work under the right conditions,” the union said in a statement.
As part of the new protocol, passengers will be forbidden from sitting behind drivers unless a special plexiglass partition has been installed to protect the driver from the spread of coronavirus.
Municipal and intercity taxis will continue to operate according to their normal outline. There will also be limited bus service to and from Eilat for the residents that might need to travel to other parts of Israel to fulfil essential needs.
“The public transport industry will provide an answer for those who are working during the days of the lockdown,” Regev added.