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Written Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Parliamentary Question on Measures to Ensure Safe Distancing on Public Transport during Circuit Breaker Period and Thereafter

04 May 2020 In Parliament

Miss Cheng Li Hui asked the Minister for Transport what are the measures to ensure safe distancing on public transport during the circuit breaker period and thereafter.
Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan: 
1.     During the current circuit breaker period, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has implemented several safe distancing measures in the public transport network. All trains and train stations, as well as buses, bus interchanges and bus stops have been marked with safe distancing stickers, wherever practical. This includes marking out seats that should be avoided and where commuters should be standing. Public Transport Operators' (PTOs) Transport Ambassadors (TAs) and bus captains work together with LTA's enforcement officers to help commuters maintain a safe distance from one another.
2.     We also require all commuters to wear masks in the public transport network. Errant commuters may be refused entry or asked to leave. Offenders will face fines or prosecution in court.
3.     When the circuit breaker measures are lifted and commuter traffic returns, the measures will largely remain in place. The exception is that we will find it very challenging to implement safe distancing in public transport, especially during peak periods. It will therefore be very important for companies to continue to implement staggered working hours and maintain their telecommuting practices as much as possible. Commuters can also play their part to minimise discretionary travel and to travel during off-peak hours when the trains and buses are less crowded.
4.     However, we will continue to require all commuters to wear masks in the public transport network. Mask-wearing is also the practice in mass rapid transit systems in Taipei, Hong Kong and Seoul.