Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced a new set of regulations for the country’s taxis to operate in the time of the pandemic. Under new rules sent to governorates in 81 provinces which will oversee them, taxi drivers and their passengers will be required to wear face masks during the rides.
The regulation requires taxis and taxi ranks to be disinfected at least once in a week. Drivers will have to be careful about their personal hygiene and must wear a mask while driving, with or without passengers. Every taxi must have sanitizers or cologne for customers and drivers are required to remind customers to use sanitizer at the beginning of the ride.
Taxis will not be allowed to carry more than three customers and will not carry customers without masks. Drivers will be required to disinfect or simply clean the spots customers might have touched inside the vehicle after each customer exits the vehicle. They will also have to maintain proper ventilation. Taxi associations will also promote contactless payment methods.
Taxis pose a dilemma for customers who want to avoid crammed mass transit vehicles but have to share a space with the driver, who, unlike in other countries, has no screen separating them from customers in the backseat. Taxi drivers had already seen the impact of the outbreak with a steep decline in the number of customers when the Interior Ministry ordered a limit in the number of taxis operating at any time in big cities in March. Taxis with odd and even license plates were required to operate on separate days and the regulation was only lifted last week.