JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is urging commuters to keep on their face masks while on the buses, even as the company steps up sanitisation activities to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to Corporate Communications Manager at the bus company, Cecil Thoms, persons are removing their masks to talk with other passengers on the buses, and the practice must stop, to ensure the safety of all passengers.

He said it is mandatory for persons to wear masks before they can board the buses, but it has been observed that when a number of persons are on the buses, they sometimes “take them off or pull them down,” and engage in conversations.

“We know that it is a bit uncomfortable, but we have to live with it a little while, and we are encouraging persons who take public transport to ensure that they not only wear their masks but they also keep them on. They are protecting themselves, and they are protecting the people around them, and they must always make the assumption that the next person with whom they are speaking might very well have the virus,” he said.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Thoms said that since March, they have implemented several measures to protect customers and staff, such as conducting temperature checks, and setting up sanitisation areas at all their locations.

“We have moved a further step in ensuring that our commuters benefit from this process as well. We have placed dispensers inside of all our buses,” Mr. Thoms outlined, emphasising that the wearing of masks offers “some degree of protection” to the commuting public, so all passengers are required to follow the safety protocols.

He told JIS News that JUTC’s corporate office, located at Twickenham Park, in St. Catherine, will be closed from August 25 to 26, to facilitate cleaning and sanitising, after one member of staff was confirmed with COVID-19, and two other members displaying flu-like symptoms. The situation has not affected drivers and dispatchers at the company.

In addition to that, the JUTC is seeking to have each employee tested by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as to help them conduct the necessary contact tracing to mitigate any potential spread.

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