President Museveni has announced that public transport will resume after being closed for over 75 days of the lockdown as one of the measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
“We shall now allow the regulated opening of public means of transport like taxis, mini-buses provided they carry one half of their normal capacity plus the conductor and driver,”Museveni said on Monday evening while addressing the nation about the Coronavirus situation.
He explained that all passengers, driver and conductor must wear facemasks covering the mouth and nose all the time.
The president however noted that the new measures will come into force on June 4 but emphasized that social distancing should be observed to avoid the spread of the virus.
He said that public and private transport in the border districts is still not allowed.
The president however said boda bodas and tuk tuks will not be allowed to carry passengers as of now but will continue carrying luggage as it has been in the last 75 days of the lockdown.
“A boda-boda rider is too close to the passenger and such a situation cannot be accepted. We can’t risk the lives of our people for the sake of business. Boda boda transporting passengers is like having supper with a teaspoon because it carries few people making many trips and overcrowding the city.”
Museveni noted: “Before the virus came, they were burden enough. Now with this virus, we can’t continue with the menace. They least they can do is keep quiet for now and wait for the disease (Covid-19) to be over.”
He noted that bars, night clubs, gyms, saunas will not be open for the next 21 days since they cannot easily observe the social distancing rules.
For shopping malls, Museveni said they will be allowed to open if they observe social distancing.
The president also said that the 7pm to 6:30am curfew will stay in place for another 21 days.
Rationale for lockdown
Describing it as a defence weapon, President Museveni said the lockdown has enabled the country deal with the virus by knowing where it was coming from.
“The lockdown has been one of the defence weapons that have helped us to survive unlimited danger. However, it’s a weapon that must be used with care because it paralyses many activities we survive on for livelihood and prosperity.”
He said they government is not relaxing lockdown measures because the danger is gone but asked the population to continue observing the guidelines put in place.
“If everybody did their part, this virus can be defeated.”