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Measures to Combat the Spread of COVID-19 in Public Transport Published

May 5, 2020

Department of Transport

Long distance inter-provincial passenger transportation by taxi and buses is permitted on a once off basis from 1 May 2020 to 07 May 2020.

This is one of the measures contained in Directions published by the transport department in Government Gazette 43262.

The measures to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in the public transport services also stipulate that taxis and buses must not carry more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger carrying capacity.

Other measures include that public transport vehicles need to be cleaned after each trip, public transport vehicles’ doors and window handles, arm rest and hand rails need to be cleaned after each trip, passengers must be sanitized before entering a vehicle, passengers and drivers need to wear face masks and public transport is permitted to operate from 05h00 to 19h00 and the driver must ensure that the drop -off is completed by 19h00.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, indicated that the adjustments to the transport Directions flow from the recently announced Disaster Management Act Regulations on Level 4 of the Risk Adjusted Strategy and to ensure alignment.

The adjustments follow consultations with industry bodies and authorities in the taxi, bus, rail, aviation and maritime sectors.

Adjustments include:

• With the gradual resumption of economic activity in certain sectors and permitted movement of freight, the full resumption of freight rail is allowed.
• Commuter rail will resume operations gradually on an incremental basis, based on the detailed plans submitted by the passenger rail operators. Limited services with strict measures to ensure social distancing and other mitigation measures, will be introduced.
• Gautrain operations will be gradually re-introduced in all rail-based services, covering 8 of their 9 stations. There will be no airport service.
• To allow for travelling of operating staff and completion of service, the Gautrain will operate from 05h00 to 12h00 and 15h00 to 20h00 with an appropriate peak hour service.
• PRASA to adopt a gradual re-introduction of its services based on its capacity to manage crowds, implement effective social distancing and implement other mitigation measures that include cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, trains and stations.
• All road-based public transport services are permitted to operate from 05h00 until 19h00, with a grace period of 1 hour in the afternoon to complete their trips and drop off passengers. This includes minibus-taxis, buses, metered taxis, e-hailing services, charter and shuttle services.
• Delivery services such as Uber Eats, Mr Delivery and any other similar service are permitted to operate between 09h00 and 19h00 only for delivery of food.
• Courier Services are permitted to operate in the delivery of any goods permitted for sale in the Level 4 Regulations.
• Drivers’ Licence Testing Centres and Vehicle Testing Centres will gradually re-open for essential service workers to renew their drivers’ and vehicle licenses.

The directions came into effect immediately.