Commuters shy away from buses and metro amid virus fears


The number of commuters on Athens buses and the metro dropped by 50 percent last week and has fallen another 70 percent so far this week due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, according to Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis.

Speaking on Open TV, he also said that intercity buses (KTEL) have reduced the number of their services.

Karamanlis said his ministry has launched a campaign to inform passengers and public transport workers of the necessary measures to prevent the transmission of the virus.

With regard to airports, he said services have been split into critical and non-critical ones. Non-critical services are now working with 50 percent of staff, while critical ones, such as the Civil Aviation Service, are operating normally.

He also said that all the necessary measures have been taken to keep the airports running smoothly.

In the event of the infection of a worker at an air traffic control tower, for instance, staff will be immediately examined and disinfected, and specific quarantine instructions will be provided as well as alternative sites for these critical parts of the national infrastructure to operate.

As for taxis, Karamanlis said the ministry has urged unions to ensure that drivers adhere to the precautions issued by the National Health Organization (EODY).