Head of road department: 2+2 rule cannot be enforced in buses at all times

Lux Express buses. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

If the 2+2 rule were to be enforced at all times on commercial bus lines, it would mean that the state would have to pay for those lines to operate, Head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications' Road and Railway Department Ain Tatter said on "Vikerhommik".

Tatter explained that 60 percent of the transport is state subsidized and 40 percent commercial lines which only live off of ticket revenue.

"The question is how will commercial lines operate in the circumstances where load factor remains at around 50 percent. If we demand the 2+2 rule, it will mean that those lines will not be opened and the state must come and pay to put them to work. This would be very expensive," Tatter said on Friday morning.

"The 2+2 rule applies in public transport, except for when it is not possible to enforce it reasonably and the same logic will remain in place. A protective mask will become a voluntary norm, maybe mandatory in the future. But lets be real, the 2+2 rule cannot be enforced in public transport at all times," Tatter said.

He added that if police were to adhere to the rule, they would have to enter a bus and throw people out. "The 2+2 rule is addressed for people, not carriers. This would be absurd. We have to learn to live with this virus, which means that it is reasonable to wear masks in public transport."

Tatter pointed out that if the president were to promulgate the Emergency Act and the situation were to turn for worse, carriers will make wearing masks mandatory on domestic routes. "The Health Board has developed guidelines for public transport where they proposed voluntary mask-wearing. If the situation were to deteriorate, voluntary instructions may become mandatory."


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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