Train service partially resumed in Israel on Monday after being shut down for 89 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, railway officials said that by 6 a.m. only 38,000 tickets had been sold, compared to 250,000 on a regular Monday morning, reported Ynet. Among the contributing factors to the low number was the fact that the Israel Defense Forces is not yet allowing soldiers to travel by train, according to the report.

According to the new regulations, each train can only carry up to 500 passengers, half of their maximum capacity. All passengers must wear face masks and are not allowed to eat or drink while on the train.

Passengers are also required to purchase tickets in advance on the Israeli Railways website or mobile app in order to reduce crowding, the report said.

Separately, the government has approved the construction of a rail line to the city of Eilat in the country’s south, Globes reported on Sunday. The new line is estimated to be completed by 2030, after which 18 to 30 trains will run to the southern Israeli city per day, according to the report, which added that there are questions being raised about the economic viability of the route.

Planners predict there will be around 5.2 million passengers using the route per year, in addition to cargo trains. The plan also would involve moving the current Dimona station to the city center.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.