Israel's trains, brough to a halt nearly three months ago over coronavirus fears, will officially resume operations on June 8, it was confirmed Thursday.
Railway's reopening has remained in doubt until last minute due to the Health Ministry's concerns the move would spark another outbreak of COVID-19.
Transportation Minister Miri Regev and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein agreed to restart railway traffic despite a special meeting on the issue expected to be held later in the day by the Knesset Finance Committee, which includes several high-profile health officials.
"The public expects the return of trains, which will alleviate pressure from the bus systems and allow easy public transport access to Israeli citizens,” said Regev. “We will follow the developments and make sure the public abides by the health rules, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and preventing the entry of passengers with fever inside train stations.”
Regev visited Israel Railways control center on Wednesday and apparently instructed the staff to prepare for full reopening of traffic on upcoming Monday, in accordance with the health guidelines.
The passengers will be required to adhere to public health orders and should follow the latest updates on the Israel Railways website to learn more about the updated train schedule.
As part of the public transportation system's exit strategy from the crisis, railway traffic was initially scheduled to return on May 17. The date was then pushed back to June 1, but Edelstein and Regev again moved the relaunch to June 8 nearly two weeks ago.