Open windows, gloves, and alcohol are part of the 10 measures to prevent infection on public buses, transport authorities and bus operators are putting into practice to deal with the spread of COVID-19 virus.
The measure includes an information campaign to contain the possible spread of the virus in public transport, including some 200 buses will display on their sides and rear preventive information on the Covid-19, primarily reminding people the protocols for coughing and sneezing in public.
Among the measures to be taken announced at a press conference on Thursday, with the participation of the deputy minister of transport, Eduardo Brenes Mata; the deputy minister of Health, Dennis Angulo; the executive director of the public concessions council, Manuel Vega; and various representatives of the business sector, are:
- 200 buses will display preventive information on the side and rear on the COVID-19.
- Daily cleaning of all units will be reinforced.
- Handwashing among transportation personnel will be extreme throughout the working day.
- Fare collectors* will use gloves to count and receive money.
- Drivers must always have some type of 70% alcohol-based gel or antibacterial product on the bus.
- The driver should not talk or eat during the journey.
- Also, passengers will be asked to keep the windows open for proper ventilation with as much sunlight as possible.
- If any driver or bus company staff suffers from symptoms of illness, they must report it immediately.
- Checkers will carry out the controls from the outside of the bus, without getting on the unit.
- Company restrooms and facilities will need to have enough water, soap, disposable towels, or electric dryers for hand drying.
Important to note for users of public transport, ridership on most buses and routes has decreased – people are riding less, working from home, children not going school – means fewer buses on most routes, that turns into less frequency of service and longer wait times.
*Editor’s note: Typically bus drivers are also fare collectors on Costa Rica’s public transport system. The measure of a ‘fare collector’ was not made clear if the driver no longer will be handling the money, and a collector will be on the bus instead. What is known is that bus drivers must now use gloves at all times.