Ministry of Transport and Public Works through the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services has maintained the 60 percent seating capacity rule for transport operators is still in effect.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nancy Chaola Mdooko said this in a press statement made available to Face of Malawi.

This follows demands made by public transport operators who are demanding that government should drop fuel prices or increase seating capacity arguing that with the current situation they are not making profits.

Public Health Coronavirus and Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Management Rules 2020, that were revised, reduced the capacity of buses, minibuses and Taxis to 60 percent while observing social distance.

Tricycles are now allowed to only carry a single passenger, the same with vehicles carrying goods. Adding to that, no passenger is allowed to stand in public transport.

“Public service vehicles should have slide opening windows and those without should have a functional ventilation system,” said Mdooko.

The statement has also advised drivers of public transport to ensure that their vehicles are disinfected before commencement of every trip and ensuring that all crew and passengers are wearing Face Masks that are covering the nose and mouth.

Passengers are also reminded to wash hands with soap or use hand sanitizer before boarding any public transport and that animals are not allowed to be carried in public transport.

Mdooko further warned that if any person is found violating the measure will attract a fine or prison sentence.

“The Ministry of Transport and Public Works is further warning all operators that failure to adhere to these measures will attract a fine of One Hundred Thousand Malawi Kwacha (MK100, 000.) And imprisonment for three (3) months. In addition, the operator license and any permits of such operator may be revoked,” she said.

She added that if a vehicle is found carrying an excess passenger, he/she shall be removed.

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