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Buses implement strict public health measures, Govt says after Opposition criticism

Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Bus Company has implemented robust public health measures to ensure the safety of drivers and customers, the Gibraltar Government said on Thursday, adding that contingency measures were also in place to ensure continuity of service.

The Government was reacting to criticism from Opposition parties which said tougher measures should be in place after eight drivers tested positive for Covid-19.

The Government said a strict testing programme had ensured cases at the company were quickly detected and isolated, preventing further spread to either staff or customers.

Bus drivers are part of the programme for frontline staff and are tested every four weeks.

Despite the temporary loss of eight drivers, there was no disruption to bus services, which have been operating at 50% capacity since June on the advice of Public Health Gibraltar.

All buses are cleaned daily, including the sanitising of seats, hand rails, buttons and the drivers’ cabin.

The use of masks and hand sanitiser is mandatory for drivers and clients, and the air conditioning is set to fresh air mode, which does not recirculate the same air through the vehicle.

All staff members must socially distance themselves from each other, wear masks and sanitise their hands frequently, while use of common areas is restricted.

Screens between the drivers’ cabin and the public area of the busses were removed after a trial revealed that they obscured the driver’s line of sight and hindered visibility.

The removal of the screens was at the recommendation of the drivers and was agreed by Public Health Gibraltar.

“The Government has acted, and will continue to act, based on the Public Health advice it receives,” said Vijay Daryanani, the Minister for Transport.

“I am confident that we have robust measures in place, which ensure the safety of all Gibraltar Bus Company staff and bus users.”

“I am very grateful to all the staff at the Gibraltar Bus Company who are at the frontline of this pandemic and have ensured that we are able to provide this important service to our community.”

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