New Cutback on Bus Lines

israel buses
The front seat of a public intercity bus in Tzfas last week, blocked off as part of preventive measures amid fears over the spread of the new coronavirus. (David Cohen/Flash90)

In a further increment in travel restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic, Israel’s Transportation Ministry announced on Thursday that bus lines still operating will be trimmed back.

Starting on Monday, bus lines that haven’t already been canceled will run only twice an hour, and three times an hour in big cities. The changes won’t affect most inter-city lines.

That will bring the overall reduction in public transportation to about 70 percent, Ynet reported, citing official sources.

The new restriction come only a few days after the government ordered public transportation to stop at 8 p.m. every day, and not to run at all on Friday and Shabbos.

Minister of the Interior Rabbi Aryeh Deri meanwhile called on Israelis to take advantage of the present circumstances to enhance their Shabbos observance.

“It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the demands of a non-stop materialistic culture,” he said. “Being in isolation with the family is an opportunity to turn off digital disturbances and focus on our parents, our children, and on what is essential in life. This is also the best defense against the coronavirus. As it says: “Whoever keeps Shabbos will be kept safe by Shabbos.”