Israeli school system was set to reopen to a near full capacity Sunday in communities that have recorded low coronavirus infection rates.
However, the excitement for some teachers, parents, and students was overshadowed by a host of problems stemming from attempts to adhere to sometimes tricky health orders meant to combat COVID-19.
One prominent issue is the limit on the number of passengers allowed on public transportation, which has an impact on thousands of students who take shuttles or buses to school.
"We're not exactly ready," said a source in the public transportation industry."Following the return of the education system to full activity, we've received a directive to operate the student lines, but [coronavirus restrictions] only allow 20 passengers on a bus at a time," he added.
"We did not get permission to add more bus lines and it's probably going to cause a mess."
As a result of the passenger limit, public transport was cut to a third of its usual capacity, which led to mass congestion in bus stations last week andfear that the students' return to school could make the overcrowding problem even worse.
Some parents have also voiced their discontent with a requirement for all students, from the fourth grade and up, to wear face masks throughout the school day.
Another concern is air conditioning, mainly due to the heavy heat wave expected to be felt throughout the country during the week. According to the Health Ministry guidelines, all windows in classrooms should be open at all times, which is impossible to do with a working air conditioner.
The Education Ministry said that the use of air conditioners in classrooms is allowed as long as there's proper ventilation of the room.