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Taxi drivers furious at Greek Gov’t for not lifting “one passenger” restriction

Taxi owners are furious against the government for not lifting the lockdown restriction that they can only transport one passenger at a time. The Attica Taxi Drivers’ Association (SATA) called the measure a “bad joke” and called on the government to withdraw the restriction.

“On what grounds did any “genius” worker of the Health Committee or the National Health Organization EODY suggested to the Ministry of Transport that the taxi should only carry one passenger?” SATA said in a statement.

At the same time, it emphasized that people are now sharing a taxi to go to work.

The government recommended on Tuesday evening when it announced the gradual lockdown lifting, that people going to work should avoid public transport means and rather make use of private vehicles.

If a couple wants to take a taxi, the husband must take a cab and the wife another, SATA said ahead of the lifting of the movement restriction within a prefecture as of May 4, 2020.

The taxi association has submitted proposals to the Transport Ministry and these includie the increase of passenger number, the possibility of optional use of protective divider between driver and passenger, the mandatory use of mask by both driver and passengers and the free of charge disinfection of taxis by regional and municipal authorities.

Speaking to state broadcaster ERT, deputy Transport Minister Giannis Kefalogiannis said on Wednesday that the government and the health experts are monitoring the issue and there maybe changes after 2-3 weeks.

To SATA criticism that more than parents with more than one child are allowed to use a private vehicle, the minister noted that “a taxi driver possibly infected with the virus comes in contact with some 50 people per day” and that’s not the case for private vehicles.

It should be noted that taxis may transport 2 passengers for a visit to doctor or hospital by a patient and a companion, whereas they have to carry documents to confirm the need.

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