The Government of Grenada advises that buses and taxis are now authorised to operate at their insurable limits, but operators must comply with the recommended health and safety measures.
Restrictions have been in place on the number of persons being transported in such vehicles as part of the government’s health and safety measures to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
The latest Public Health (Covid-19) Regulations allow for buses and taxis to now carry their maximum number of passengers in keeping with their insurance policies. Operators of public transportation conveying persons from ports of entry will be required to adhere to additional protocols to be outlined by the Ministry of Health.
Explaining the new guidelines, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shawn Charles said, “Given Grenada’s present Covid-19 status and the challenge in maintaining the required physical distance while using the types of public transportation available locally, the shift is made to allow full capacity at this time. As such, the emphasis is placed on the wearing of face masks/covers over the mouth and nose, and hand and respiratory hygiene along with general bus sanitisation to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19.”
With the return of business activity and re-opening of schools, the demand for public transportation has naturally increased, resulting in large numbers of individuals from different settings coming into close contact with each other daily.
Dr Charles cautions that the possibility for disease spread rises if the recommended public health measures to prevent Covid-19 are not adhered to by all persons.
Dr Charles further stated that, “Grenada’s continued success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic will depend on the actions of each person in the community. Every person must take personal responsibility for the protection of his/her health. Adults should be examples to our children. This is the only way that Grenada will prevent or mitigate the impact of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
The continuance of this shift in operational guidelines for buses and taxis will be determined by full compliance with the regulations.
The public is reminded that under the Covid-19 Regulations, it is mandatory that all persons wear a face mask, shield or covering that covers the mouth, nose and chin while in public spaces. Bus and taxi drivers, conductors and passengers must adhere to the stipulation of wearing a face mask or other appropriate face covering while in the bus terminal and throughout the duration of the journey. Further, officials operating bus terminal facilities can deny entry to a person not wearing proper face covering.
Hand sanitisation also remains mandatory. The regulations provide for operators of buses and taxis to administer or ensure sanitisation of the hands of every person upon entry into the vehicle, using a 70% alcohol-based substance. Passengers may use their own sanitising fluid in the presence of the bus or taxi operator before entering the vehicle.
Additionally, buses and taxis must be sanitised by mechanical or manual means, using a 70% alcohol-based product or Lysol.
Persons failing to comply with the regulations can face penalties as prescribed under the law. Lack of compliance can result in summary conviction and a fine not exceeding $500. Alternatively, a person committing an offence, can opt for a fixed penalty of $350.
Environmental health wardens, traffic wardens and staff of bus terminal facilities will monitor the implementation of these requirements governing the operation of public transport vehicles and the Royal Grenada Police Force will stringently enforce the provisions of the regulations.
The general public is also encouraged to report instances of non-compliance to the RGPF or the Ministry of Health.