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Bus/Ferries To Continue On Reduced Schedule

Both the bus and ferry service will continue to operate on a reduced schedule, the Government has said.

Speaking at last night’s [June 1] press briefing, Minister DeSilva said, “Following the staged easing of the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ restrictions, it has now been several weeks since our ferry services resumed and shortly thereafter, we saw the resumption of the island’s bus service.

“However, continuing restrictions related to the pandemic and our overriding concern for the health and safety of the travelling public means that, in the short term, the ferry service will continue to operate a ‘Reduced Schedule’.

“To ensure appropriate ‘social distancing’ for passengers on the ferries, it has been necessary to restrict seating. As a result, the seating available to ferry users is only 25% of the normal capacity of each vessel.

“In general terms, this means that each ferry can safely accommodate 50 passengers and adhere and comply with ‘social distancing’ requirements.

“We understand that this is a significant reduction in the usual capacity of our ferries BUT I would stress again that the health and safety of our passengers is of paramount importance as we move through these demanding and worrying times.

“Similarly, the bus service has also been operating under a short term ‘Reduced Schedule’ although additional morning commuter runs have been implemented to assist during periods of peak demand.

“However, since the initial resumption of the bus service, and by agreement with the bus operators, we have been able to increase the capacity of each bus from 9 passengers to 17 passengers whilst still adhering to the ‘social distancing’ mandate.

“This almost doubling of capacity has now gone a long way to providing a more balanced bus system when comparing passenger demand to bus capacity.

“Of course, in accordance with stipulated hygiene requirements, all passengers using public transportation must continue to use hand sanitizer on entry and to wear face masks. This is mandatory and there are no exceptions!”