Southern Vectis is removing seating restrictions on its buses from today (Monday) as social distancing requirements are lifted.
It is no longer a legal requirement to keep 1-2 metres away from others, which means businesses can return to normal with a full capacity. Up until now, Southern Vectis has blanked off a number of seats on each bus to enable passengers to keep a distance from others on board.
Andrew Wickham, Managing Director at Southern Vectis, says:
“Like the rest of the country, our team has endured an incredibly tough period, since the pandemic hit in March 2020. From the very beginning, we have provided essential bus services for key workers across the Isle of Wight – ensuring NHS and emergency workers, shop staff, carers and many others could travel and carry out their vital roles.
“Now it is time to cautiously embrace our new-found freedom, and travel by bus for leisure, as well as for work. As before, we are ensuring buses are one of the safest places to be – with stringent cleaning measures, including the use of anti-viral wipes on all touch points. However, with the one metre plus rule no longer in place, we have opened up all seats on our buses, except for those immediately behind the driver – so that we can operate at almost full capacity once more.
“The government has announced that wearing a face covering on public transport is no longer mandatory, and has given individuals the choice. We understand that this is a decision for each individual to make, but we urge our customers to consider others when travelling with us, and we strongly advise that they wear a face covering.
“With almost all on board seating available from Monday 19 July, for most journeys, there will be plenty of space for customers to keep their distance from others.
“One of the rare positive impacts of Covid is that it contributed to reduced congestion across the Isle of Wight – so it would be wonderful if we could all use this opportunity to leave cars at home and use sustainable transport instead. This could make a real impact in helping to improve the air quality here – whilst providing a boost for the local hospitality industry.
“Whatever their reason to travel with us, our customers can expect safe, clean, buses, ready-and-waiting to transport them wherever they want to go.
“I’d like to pay tribute to our entire team. As key workers, they have worked tirelessly to keep the island moving throughout the pandemic. Now we’re all looking forward to brighter times ahead.”