The transport ministry on Friday issued new guidelines effective from 6am on Monday regulating public transport in the light of tighter restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The maximum number of passengers on buses (regular buses, shuttles and private buses) is set at 50 per cent of capacity of each bus, with the exception of buses for which special permission is given by the transport ministry for more passengers.
The 50 per cent rule also applies to buses taking pupils to school, again subject to exceptions with special permission from the ministry.
Buses with permits to carry large families can fill up to 100 per cent capacity.
Taxis can carry half the number of passengers stipulated on their permit, and if this is not a round number, it is rounded down.
In buses where there is no drivers’ cubicle or protective barrier separating the driver from the passengers’ entrance, the seats behind the driver and the seat on the left (tour guide’s seat where available) should remain empty.
All measures must be taken to prevent crowding on boarding and disembarking the bus, while there must be antiseptic gel for use by all passengers at the door.
Buses must be cleaned and disinfected frequently, notably before the start of service and during the day. Cleaning and disinfection should be carried out at least on the completion of four itineraries and where possible at the end of each itinerary. Special attention should be paid to surfaces, handles and seat belts.
The doors of the bus must be left open at the end of every itinerary and every break, as must the windows and roof panel where they exist.
Buses used by pupils must also be disinfected before and after use. It is recommended that pupils sit at the same seat where possible and that pupils in the same class or siblings sit together.
Air condition systems with recycled air are not used on buses. Windows and roof panels should be open where they exist.
Masks are compulsory by all employees and passengers on all regular buses that charge a fee per passenger as well as on all public transport (taxis, tourist buses, shuttles) irrespective of age.