Transportation on Restricted Schedule During Lockdown

 A fuel supply truck is seen refuelling an Israir airplane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)


Ben Gurion Airport will stay open during the coming national lockdown and previously approved flights will go forward as scheduled, government ministers decided on Monday, The Times of Israel reported.

Israelis who have already purchased tickets will be able to fly, and still available tickets can be sold. However, no new flights will be approved for the closure period.

New immigrants already scheduled to arrive during the lockdown period will also be allowed into the country as planned.

Those flying out will have to provide negative coronavirus test results, in accordance with the requirements of their destination country.

Inside Israel, buses and trains will operate during the lockdown on a curtailed schedule.

Buses will be carrying 50 percent of capacity, Sundays through Thursdays, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and halting intercity routes on Friday and Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov.

Israel Railways will also operate Sundays through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

“The decision to close was not an easy one, but it is a necessity,” Transportation

Minister Miri Regev said on Monday.

The Bus Drivers Union was supportive: “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 a 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 as normal.

There will also be limited bus service to and from Eilat for the residents who might need to travel to other parts of Israel for essential needs.

“The public transport industry will provide an answer for those who are working during the days of the lockdown,” Regev added.