More talks are expected to take place between the Department of Public Transportation (DPT) and the Ministry of Health as the island’s bus service prepares to return with a limited schedule on Wednesday.
This after the DPT said on Sunday that the reintroduction of service set for Monday had been delayed due to a Monday morning meeting called by the Bermuda Industrial Union.
Speaking at the latest COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Premier David Burt said he was not able to discuss the concerns raised by the union because he was not at the meeting.
“On a broader level, inside of this crisis is that many persons have their own opinions, and even persons such as myself, we have to listen to the advice of public health and the Ministry of Health, even though we may disagree with said advice.
“My view is that we certainly have to get Bermuda back up and running, we need to make sure that Bermuda gets back to work and I would say that it is essential that, as the Government of Bermuda follows the guidelines from the Ministry of Health, that all departments of the Government of Bermuda follow the guidelines from the Ministry of Health,” he said.
All passengers will be required to wear a face mask and keep at least three feet apart when seated.
The maximum capacity per load has been reduced to 17 with no standing.
Health Minister Kim Wilson said the social distancing of three feet, instead of six feet, was approved by public health officials.
“Its necessity justifies the risk as it is mitigated by the mandatory wearing of masks,” she said.
“Other jurisdictions are adopting similar measures in order for public transportation to be able to operate.”
The Minister also urged bus commuters to avoid peak travel times whenever possible, face away from other passengers, avoid physical contact and cover their faces if they cough or sneeze.
The key was “not to be too close to other people for more than a short amount of time,” the Minister added.
“The risk of infection increases the closer that you are to another person with the virus and the amount of time that you spend in close contact with that person.
“You are very unlikely to be infected just walking past another person to take up your seat three feet away.”