NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Taxicab Union president Wesley Ferguson yesterday expressed concerns over the enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols as taxi drivers return to work next week.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Ferguson said he expected the protocols to “fizzle out” if there is no surge in infected cases.
“I think that as long as we don’t experience a surge in COVID-19 infections the protocols will eventually fizzle out. I could be wrong,” Ferguson said.
“How long are airlines not going to use the middle seats for instance? When you look at the big tour companies, even the jitney drivers, who is going to monitor them? What kind of enforcement is going to be in place to ensure that there are no more than 15 passengers in the vehicles. To what extent, when things get really busy will they be able to sustain the protocols. Enforcement is the biggest issue,” said Ferguson.
Tourism industry stakeholders plan to ‘test the market’ and effectiveness of new protocols outlined in the country’s tourism readiness and recovery plans in two weeks, as the country moves towards officially reopening to international commercial travel on July 1.
Ferguson continued: “Taxi drivers for the most part carry a fare as it comes whether it is two or five.
“Everything sounds good in principle but it will be interesting to see how things go. I’m just praying and hoping that a vaccine is developed sooner rather than later and that will ease a lot of anxiety and the concerns about protocols etc.”
He said: “Taxi drivers in part go back to work on June 8th. Domestic travel also includes taxi drivers and so when the domestic terminal of LPIA is opened taxi drivers will be there. We have sent out directives to the drivers about social distancing and the need to have hand sanitizers etc.”