Passengers will no longer be allowed to stand on local buses, with Malta Public Transport announcing new restrictions intended to better reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

The no standing policy will come into effect immediately, MPT said in a statement on Friday afternoon. 

Buses began working with a “no change” policy on Thursday, with drivers told not to give out any change so as to reduce the amount of interaction between drivers and passengers. 

Drivers have also been instructed to ensure all bus windows are open and air conditioning systems are switched off. They have also been given hand sanitisers, to keep their hands clean after interacting with passengers. 

Vehicles are also being cleaned during the day using chemical cleaning agents, MPT said, as well as overnight. 

“Public transport is an essential service in our community. Bus drivers, mechanics, electricians, inspectors, and many others are working very hard to ensure that people can travel safely around Malta and Gozo. Therefore everyone’s cooperation is required, and people are kindly requested not to travel if they are feeling sick, and to follow quarantine procedures as indicated by the authorities,” MPT said.

Malta has closed down schools, barred public gatherings and ordered that all incoming travellers spend 14 days in quarantine in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

People have been urged to avoid all non-essential travel, to stay at home where possible and to practice social distancing measures. These include remaining at least 1m away from others and avoiding contact such as handshakes. 

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