Disinfecting a bus
Disinfecting a bus Kobi Richter, TPS

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) on Wednesday morning said that public transportation will not be eliminated entirely at this point, urging the public to use it only for permitted purposes.

Following a six-hour government meeting, Smotrich said: "I am happy that common sense prevailed. As long as there are parts of the workforce which continue to work, whether it is the economic sector or social services, we need to provide public transportation services. We cannot decide that people can continue to work, but not allow them to reach their workplaces."

"Public transportation will be reduced to the minimum necessary, and I call on the public not to use it unless there is no other option, and only for purposes for which it is permitted to leave home, in accordance with the new guidelines.

"If it is decided to close the entire workforce, we will be able to close public transportation only after alternate arrangements have been made for essential workers and basic social services, as well as for poorer populations who need to purchase food and other basic necessities."

During the Tuesday night meeting, new guidelines were announced, which will go into effect Wednesday evening. The full list will be published later on Wednesday.

Violation of the guidelines is a criminal offense which can lead to up to a year in prison. Business owners violating the guidelines will receive fines worth thousands of shekels.

Earlier on Wednesday, a meeting between the Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, and Prime Minister ended with an agreement to continue distance learning and pay teachers' salaries until Pesach (Passover) vacation.

The arrangement includes students and teachers from preschool through grade ten.