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Coronavirus: Transport ministry clarifies rules, buses at 50 per cent capacity

cyprus public transport

Transport minister Yiannis Karousos on Tuesday issued clarifications on the rules applying to both private and public transportation.

For public transport, the rules applying to all districts are as follows:

Public buses are allowed to operate at 50 per cent of their capacity unless given special permission by the Transport Ministry.

The same applies for airport shuttles and privately owned buses, but they can also operate at 100 per cent capacity if all passengers aged 18 and over either:

  • hold a negative rapid antigen test taken up to 72 hours prior, OR
  • a vaccination certificate showing they received at least one dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine three weeks prior, OR
  • proof they were infected with the virus in the last six months, OR
  • a Cyprus Flight Pass.

The above does not apply for passengers under 12 years old, but those aged 12-17 must get tested once a week.

To this end, buses only transporting students to public and private schools are allowed to operate at 100 per cent capacity, and it is recommended that students sit at preassigned seats, or next to classmates or siblings.

In addition, buses licensed to transport large families can operate at 100 per cent capacity.

Lastly, taxis can also operate at 100 per cent as long as the passenger seat is left empty.

In buses where there is no cubicle or screen separating the driver from the passengers, the seats behind the driver as well as the one positioned to their left must be left empty.

Social distancing must be enforced to avoid overcrowding, and all buses must have hand sanitiser available for passenger use.

Buses must be consistently cleaned and disinfected, both before starting operations and throughout the day – especially high-touch areas like handles, metal surfaces, seat belts etc. This will ideally happen after at least four routes, and when possible, at the end of each route.

At bus stops, during breaks and in between routes, bus doors must be left open for ventilation, while windows and skylights (where present) must be open at all times, and air-conditioning must be off.

Drivers and passengers of all ages, without exception, must wear a mask at all times.

The rules applying to privately owned vehicles are as follows:

Members of the same household, including minors, are allowed to travel in a privately owned vehicle without using masks.

If passengers come from different households, they must wear masks.

As regards the use of privately owned vehicles for carpooling, where the mask rule also applies, the ministry suggested that it should be avoided whenever possible.

This applies both to employees travelling to and from work in someone’s privately owned vehicle and to those travelling in a vehicle owned by their employer/company.

The ministry suggested that employers arrange, wherever possible, alternative modes of transporting staff such as providing more vehicles.

It also highlighted that employers are responsible for handling potential incidents, keeping employees informed on the Health Ministry’s latest decrees and enforcing the relevant measures in the workplace, including ensuring those who experience symptoms self-isolate.

In general, vehicles used for carpooling to and from work must be consistently disinfected and cleaned daily, and passengers must use antiseptic to clean their hands. Windows must be kept open while air-conditioning must be off.

 

 

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