The Bank of Israel has ordered retail banks in the country to shutter most of the branches to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19).

The banks have also been urged to provide adapted and expanded services to elderly customers aged 70 and over.

Depending on the branch size, the Bank of Israel will allow face-to-face transactions at 25% of designated core branches only.

Customers have to set an appointment before arriving at the core branches for their day-to-day banking activities.

Each bank will upload a list of core branches on their websites.

The Bank of Israel also urged banks to encourage customers to transact using digital means instead of visiting branches.

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The ATMs, however, will continue to operate as usual.

Supervisor of Banks Hedva Ber said: “We are taking this measure following instructions from the Ministry of Health to reduce activity and movement in the public space.

“The measure will enable continuity in the provision of banking services to the broad public while maintaining the health of the public and of bank employees.

“I call on the public to make all banking transactions through direct means: by phone, ATMs, banking applications, and bank websites.”

The list of core branches will also be published on the Bank of Israel’s website.

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