IDF returns to "normal" as coronavirus numbers continue to decrease

Troops will once again be able to take normal furloughs and use public transportation.

IDF troops searching for terrorist who committed the shooting attack near Dolev (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF troops searching for terrorist who committed the shooting attack near Dolev
After nearly two months of restrictions placed on IDF soldiers due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel’s military has announced that it will be returning to a normal routine while adhering to guidelines set by the Health Ministry.
The IDF said that troops will be able to take normal furloughs and will once again be allowed to use public transportation and that as a result will cancel its internal transport service which ran during the height of the virus crisis in the country.
The military will also close its quarantine facilities for soldiers who contracted the virus in Ashkelon and will instead send the remaining sick troops to civilian quarantine facilities in Ashkelon and Nahariya. The military did not mention the military resort facility in the northern coastal town of Givat Olga where soldiers were also being quarantined.
According to a report in Ynet News, the IDF will also restart reserve training for ground forces next month that had been canceled due to the virus.
As the number of coronavirus patients in the country continues to decrease, the military also announced that it will also slowly fade out the deployment of troops in the country’s old age homes in the coming weeks. Over 1,000 troops from the Homefront Command were deployed to some 200 retirement facilities across the country where they distributed food and medicine as well as provided emergency care.
The military said that as of Thursday there were 223 servicemembers who had been diagnosed with the virus, all with mild symptoms. A total of 140 have since recovered or been discharged from the military and another 83 are still sick. Another 576 are currently in quarantine.
The IDF diverted thousands of troops and resources over the course of the past two months to help the country fight the spread of the coronavirus. Some 18,000 commanders and soldiers took part in aid missions to civilian populations across the country, including in cities placed under lockdown like Bnei Brak and Deir al-Assad. Millions of food packages were also delivered to at-risk populations.
The IDF’s Homefront Command has also been deployed to over a dozen quarantine hotels with Israelis diagnosed with the virus and in mild condition.
The IDF Weapons Manufacturing Center, which produces of tank parts and body armor, was converted to develop protective goggles for medical staff and spray guns to sanitize public spaces. Troops from the IDF’s Unit 81 also worked to help find solutions for healthcare providers during the crisis.