Election holiday: 150,000 Israelis take to the outdoors amid coronavirus

"Go and vote at home, and then bring your children out to vote with us," a National Parks Authority representative said regarding fake polling stations set up in some parks for children.

More than 40,000 Israeli's take to the the National Parks on Election Day (photo credit: NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)
More than 40,000 Israeli's take to the the National Parks on Election Day
(photo credit: NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)
While Israel’s Nature and Park’s Authority (NPA) would on a normal day encourage people to go outside and get some fresh air, they’re now advising on the contrary – not for fears of coronavirus, but simply to handle the extreme congestion that national parks had on Election Day, due to the rare mixture of a national election and a sunny winter day.
On Israel’s Election day, a designated national day off, an estimated 150,000 people have taken to the outdoors.
“We’re asking the public to please stop arriving,” the NPA said, referring to certain overly filled national parks such as the Illanot National Forest. “The parking lots in the forest are completely full; we’re stopping traffic before it arrives.” NPA said.
This doesn’t mean that people should completely forgo their day treks with their families, they’re just being advised to find national parks that aren’t quite as full.
“People are enjoying this beautifully sunny day that has fallen upon us. The sun is smiling.” said a representative of the NPA in an interview with Army radio.
Special activities for children with Israel's Nature and Park's authority on Election Day (Credit: Israel Nature and Park's Authority)Special activities for children with Israel's Nature and Park's authority on Election Day (Credit: Israel Nature and Park's Authority)
“This is an opportunity to host special activities for children and their families,” the representative continued.
These special activities include fake polling stations for children in places like Tel Megiddo. “Children can’t vote in the real elections, so this is a great opportunity for them to get that experience. Go and vote at home, and then bring your children out to vote with us.”
Special activities for children with Israel's Nature and Park's authority on Election Day (Credit: Israel Nature and Park's Authority)Special activities for children with Israel's Nature and Park's authority on Election Day (Credit: Israel Nature and Park's Authority)
Masada was noted as having 3,000 visitors, while Yarkon Tel Afek has 5,600 and Caesarea 3,300.
A list of parks that are recommended for people to avoid due to fears of overcrowding are: Illanot National Forest, The Banias Waterfalls - with 4,200 visitors, Gamla Nature Reserve, Mt. Arbel, Nahal Taninim (‘Crocodile River’), the Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, Madras located in the Adullam Grove Nature Reserve, Nahal HaShofet in Ramot Menashe, and Beit Guvrin.