Authorities here are seeking to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the general population by reducing the number of passengers carried by public transport providers/operators as part of its evolving protocols.
The regulation which is expected to come into force tomorrow 8th January 2020 will reduce the capacity on all public transportation vehicles according to licensed capacity as follows:
26 seaters – 20 pax
24 seaters – 18 pax
18 seaters – 12 pax
Omnibus operators are expected to hold meetings with officials in the Ministry of Transport and Works as early as next week to discuss any support that can be offered to the transportation sector due to the expected reduction in revenue.
Several operators are also calling on the authorities to make wearing of a mask mandatory in public vehicles.
The new regulation is expected to remain in force for the foreseeable future.
Last May, similar regulations came into force which included mandatory sanitisation of buses. The Prime Minister had warned operators at the time:
“You can’t wash your bus at night and then you do five, six, seven trips [without further cleaning.] … As soon as you do one, two trips, the bus needs cleaning already.”
It was also government’s intention to permanently reduce the carrying capacity of omnibuses to 14 passengers which irked many van owners.