TIRANA, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Albania's Technical Committee of Experts on the coronavirus situation has decided to give the green light to the reopening of public transport under strict health protocols, Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a live communication video via Facebook, Manastirliu announced the decision but did not mention a clear date on when the public transport would restart.
The minister said that the end of the state of natural disaster on Tuesday "does not diminish the vigilance on the part of medical staff and health ministry, and that all the anti-coronavirus measures will continue to be in force."
When public transport resumes, according to health protocols approved by the ministry, all buses and public transport vehicles will be allowed to use up to 70 percent of their passenger capacity, bus drivers and passengers must wear masks and gloves, and all busses and bus terminals must be disinfected.
In a reaction to the announcement, the Union of Public Transport Operators said that public transport operators are not ready to resume work unless their requests are met.
According to local media, the union said that public transport operators cannot afford the costs of respecting the health protocols. On top of the demands is the subsidizing of missing revenues for transport entities as a result of the protocols.
The union also requests the government to remove fuel taxes and cut the value-added tax from 20 percent to zero for the year 2020.
On Tuesday, health authorities reported 52 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total in the country to 2,047, with 1,195 recoveries and 46 fatalities. Enditem