Aircraft, trains, e-hailing services can operate full swing


PUBLIC transportation including airlines and e-hailing services will be allowed to operate full swing following the easing of coronavirus restrictions under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday said transport networks including express buses, taxis and ride-sharing services can now operate around the clock at full seating capacity. The same relaxation applies to trains, light rail and commercial aircraft.

The number of passengers on flights was previously capped at about 50% to 70% depending on aircraft type, to maintain a physical distance among passengers amid the outbreak.

Grab rides were also restricted to a maximum of two passengers at a time who were encouraged to sit in the backseat.

The loosening of social distancing restrictions, however, comes with strict guidelines on the usage of face masks, regular sanitation, cashless payment and passenger record-keeping, Ismail Sabri said.

For bus operators, temperature checks on passengers are required before boarding.

For train services and intercity buses, standing commuters must maintain a certain distance from one another.

Hand sanitisers must be made available at stations wherever possible, while regular sanitation per round trip is highly recommended across all transportation services including e-hailing.

Face masks are required throughout the journey, including on long-haul flights. Passengers will also be required to register their details on the MySejahtera government app for contact tracing.

Yesterday’s federal announcement follows the reopening of nearly all economic activities which started on June 10.

Traffic across major highways has more than doubled overnight after interstate travel is allowed, the minister said.

Traffic at highways operated by PLUS Malaysia Bhd nearly doubled from 1.2 million vehicles per day on Tuesday to 2.04 million vehicles on Wednesday — the first day of the RMCO.

At the Karak Expressway, traffic surged from 37,789 vehicles to 85,985 vehicles over the same period.

Apart from monitoring traffic conditions and conducting checks at business premises, the police and armed forces have also been tasked to patrol the country’s borders under Ops Benteng to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants.

Ismail Sabri said authorities detained over 700 migrants between May 1 and June 10, as well as 125 boat skippers for attempting to enter the country illegally.