South Africa: Taxis At 70% Capacity Are Now Allowed - If All Passengers Wear Surgical Masks

A NIOSH N95 particulate respirator

The government was faced with intense pressure from the taxi industry to relax strict loading rules intended to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The government has backed down on attempts to rein in the taxi industry during the Covid-19 crisis and will now allow taxis to run at 70% loading capacity - as long as all passengers are issued with surgical N95 masks, which are costly and hard to come by.

The 70% capacity provision was a revision on an announcement made by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula a few hours earlier in the day that a 100% loading capacity would be allowed if protective measures were in place.

Curbs on the number of passengers in taxis where masks are not issued will remain in place.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, the Transport Ministry said that the revision (on a revision) by the Minister from 100% to 70% - within the same day - had taken place after concerns were raised from the public. "After our announcement of catering for 100%, there was a public outcry about the impact of such an arrangement to the health safety of public transport users. We took these issues seriously and engaged with...

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