Gov't cuts but doesn't cancel public transport amid coronavirus threat

"It is impossible to decide that people can continue to work, but not allow them the ability to get there," said Smotrich.

An Egged bus in front of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An Egged bus in front of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Public transport in Israel will continue despite new regulations to combat the coronavirus.

After a thorough discussion taking many hours, the government accepted Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich's stance on only reducing the amount of public transportation at this time, rather than cancelling it.
Although it has been decided that further restrictions on public transportation will go into effect, there will not be a complete shutdown of the public transport system.
"It is impossible to determine that people can continue to work, but not allow them the ability to get there," said Smotrich.
The decision was made in efforts to reduce the risk of infection to the public, while still offering services to those who may need it in order to travel to places such as medical services or for buying food.
"Public transportation will be reduced to the minimum that is necessary," Smotrich continued. "I urge the public not to use it unless there is no other choice, and only for the purpose that is permitted in accordance with the new regulations."
Smotrich further noted that should there be full closure of the market, "public transportation should only be closed after alternatives for both essential workers and basic social services [are in place], as well as services offered to supply the need of disadvantaged populations with food and other essentials."