Mbabane: Following government’s removal of the relaxed partial lockdown regulations, public transport will now operate under strict regulations as outlined by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the COVID-19 Logistics and Transport Technical Working Group.
This was announced by the Minister of Public Works and Transport Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe in a press conference held at the cabinet offices on Thursday, 23 April 2020. The minister was giving a ministerial statement during a press conference at the Cabinet offices today, April 23.
“Public transport shall now operate in a controlled manner and those operating shall have been authorized by the COVID-19 Logistics and Transport Technical Working Group”, said the minister. “Although public transport is still considered essential it shall operate in controlled manner, and all the revised regulations for public transport shall be with effect from midnight April 26, 2020”, said the minister.
The relaxed extended partial lockdown allowed public transport to operate in more relaxed conditions despite public outcry that there was high risk of contracting the coronavirus. On the initial partial lockdown public transport was allowed to operate all day but observing 70% loading capacity.
“With the revised measures announced today, buses, taxis, and minibuses shall operate at 70% capacity. Ndwandwe said it will be compulsory that all occupants in the vehicle wear face masks and also buses shall not have a standing capacity and must also observe wearing of masks”, said the minister.
The minister said operating hours of all public transport vehicles shall be determined by demand as permitted by the COVID-19 Logistics and Transport Technical Working Group.
The minister said all public transport shall be regularly disinfected and kept clean at all times, and passengers boarding public transport should have their hands washed with water and soap or sanitized prior to boarding.
However, taxis shall operate at normal hours with strict adherence to wearing of masks for all occupants and sanitization prior to boarding and at the 70% carrying capacity.