While the number of Covid cases is increasing in Reunion Island, as restrictive measures are reinforced in places open to the public, as sports competitions are prohibited, in public transport the post-containment health protocol has been lightened.
Last week the director of the Regional Health Agency announced that contamination thresholds never reached in Reunion had been reached, the FO Transports 974 union sounded the alarm.
Gatherings of more than 6 people are prohibited, the rules have been tightened in restaurants, social distancing is seen as important there as in supermarkets, yet in buses, passengers often find themselves in a very promiscuous.
50 people per bus
For FO Transports 974, ” it is unacceptable to allow more than 50 people in an enclosed space such as buses “. Employees in the sector are worried about their health and that of their families.
At present, a 19 m2 vehicle can accommodate between 50 and 66 people, explains Joseph Magdeleine, general secretary of Force Ouvrière Transports 974, himself a bus driver. The only protocol in force is the daily disinfection of vehicles and the wearing of a compulsory mask.
Resumption of ticket sales on board
The transport networks have resumed the sale of tickets on board the bus, the Citalis since Monday, February 22 in the morning. A measure that increases the risk of contamination for the driver, according to the union.
To reduce it, the decision was taken not to give change, but it is necessary to do the count at the end of the day. Gérard Françoise, CEO of Sodiparc, manager of the Citalis network, indicates that all the organizations have validated the resumption of the sale of tickets on board and that a protocol has been put in place on behalf of the currency.
Report from Réunion la 1ère.
Public transport: a union calls for the return of the post-containment health protocol
Additional health measures
In the Citalis buses, a window has been put back in place between the driver and the passengers, since this weekend, explains Gérard Françoise, CEO of Sodiparc. Vehicles are also disinfected 5 to 6 times a day, he says.
Measures that go beyond the recommendations of the health protocol today in force for public transport, insists Gérard Françoise. Measures that thus allow operators to retain a profitable number of travelers, he explains.
Because if bus attendance has resumed, it still remains lower than the pre-Covid. 55,000 travelers are thus taken care of every day by Citalis, compared to 85,000 ordinary travelers.
For a return of the post-containment health protocol
Despite these provisions, the FO Transports 974 union demands that a prefectural decree be taken as a matter of urgency, applying the measures taken a few months ago. At that time, 1 in 2 seats were occupied, tickets were not sold on board, access to the bus was limited to the rear doors, a physical separation was marked between driver and passengers and the first seats behind the driver were doomed.
Staff do not exclude exercising their right of withdrawal for serious and imminent danger, if the warning signal issued was not taken seriously, says the union.
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