Passenger transport companies — including taxis, rideshare companies, party buses, tourist excursions, tourist limousines, public vehicles, carpools, and public buses — have been given the go-ahead to resume operations, on a limited basis.
The Puerto Rico Bureau of Transportation and other Public Services said operators may offer services during the hours allowed by the curfew currently in effect, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“As Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced has established, the reopening of the economy is being carried out gradually and conscientiously, harmonizing economic interests with public health,” agency Chair Luis D. García-Fraga said.
“The resumption of passenger transport services will follow the same principles, while ensuring the safety of both operators and passengers,” he said, adding it will be up to “operators to guarantee health, safety and hygiene aspects, establishing the necessary controls to achieve social distancing and avoid the spread of COVID-19.”
Operators must wear gloves while transporting passengers, have hand sanitizer available for passengers to use when boarding the vehicle, as well as disinfect the unit each time a trip is completed, or the vehicle is turned off.
In addition, any suitcase or equipment that is placed inside the vehicle must be disinfected if the operator moves or places the objects.
García-Fraga said operators and passengers must wear masks at all times. Passengers must maintain the greatest possible distance from the driver.
The agency also suggested isolating the driver with safety equipment or a face shield that protects them from direct contact with passengers.
For mid-sized or full-sized vehicles, the occupancy may not exceed 50% of its capacity; the driver may assign seats in the unit to meet the recommended physical distancing. It will also be mandatory to run a temperature check on all passengers, and those showing 100.4° F or higher will not be allowed to board the vehicle.
This measure is recommended, although not mandatory, for vehicles with a smaller capacity, he said.
Finally, the government official said taxi and public vehicle operators interested in transporting cargo must have the special authorization issued by the Bureau of Transportation and other Public Services through its online platform.