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Covid-19 Transportation Rules

bus seats covid 19

The year 2020 will be remembered in the history of Italy as the year in which of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic began, a period of health emergency divided into several phases when all Italian people was called to stay at home in quarantine to contain the contagion, closed schools and web lessons for students, workers invited to smart-working where possible, the possibility of going out only for work reason, health and shopping, always respecting social distancing.

Like many activities, tourism transport also had to stop throughout Italy as the government's provisions banned the movement and gathering of people, with a consequent crisis in the transport sector and in the entire tourism industry.

Despite the succession of openings and closings, alternating red, orange and yellow areas with different restrictions, the general rules of avoiding gatherings and respecting social distancing are always valid and recommended, but what happens for transport and in particular for the sector of rent with driver?

New rules for passenger transport

There are many innovations for the restarting of the transport sector in the phase 2 described in the DPCM of April 26th 2020, with a series of rules to be respected for the containment of contagion and for not incurring in penalties or suspension of activity.

First of all, an obligation was imposed for the driver and passengers that have to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks (to protect the nose and mouth) and to respect the minimum safety distance of one meter.

In this regard, the government guidelines attached to the DPCM of April 26th 2020 briefly indicate as following:

  1. passengers cannot occupy the seat next to the driver who must remain unused and therefore free;
  2. in cars, limo and minivans used for hire with driver with a capacity up to 6 seats, a maximum of 2 passengers per vehicle can be transported and only on the rear seats as long as they are equipped with masks, otherwise only one passenger can be transported;
  3. in vehicles over 6 seats, therefore minibuses and coaches, you can travel only on the rear seats, no more than two passengers per row spaced at least one meter apart, leaving the seat next to the driver free;
  4. non-usable seats must be marked with markers clearly visible to the user;
  5. it is preferable to install a dividing wall between the driver and passengers;
  6. passengers will be able to get on and off the central or rear door of the bus keeping the minimum distance of 1 meter, the front door cannot be used;
  7. installation of dispensers containing hand sanitizers for passengers;
  8. affixing information signs on board the vehicles about the correct methods of user behavior with the prescription that failure to comply may cause the interruption of the service.

As for vehicle cleaning, the entire company fleet must be sanitized every day with disinfectant products recognized by the Ministry of Health and suitable for anti-Covid-19 sanitization.

Noleggio Bus Roma S.r.l. guarantees full compliance with all the provisions issued by the Italian Government, such as the use of personal protective equipment (FFP2 and surgical face masks), social distancing and sanitation of the vehicles used.

Bus capacity in yellow area

The Prime Ministerial Decree of March 2nd 2021 art. 31 paragraph 1 established that in yellow area it is allowed to occupy seats within 50% of the bus capacity, excluding the possibility of total filling even with self-certification or negative covid-test.

The previous provisions regarding compliance with hygiene and behavioral measures useful to contain the transmission of the virus, the use of personal protective equipment on board and the measurement of body temperature before getting into the vehicle remain confirmed.

For further information, it is advisable to read the entire document, including the annex to the DPCM, published on the Italian Government website.

News about the White area

Art. 1 of Legislative Decree 15 of February 23rd 2021 had already introduced the definition of the white area, then amended with the recent Legislative Decree 65 of May 18th 2021, where art. 13 confirms the entry into the white area for "the regions in whose territories the weekly incidence of infections is less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for three consecutive weeks".

With the decrease in infections throughout Italy, falling within the above parameters, all Italian regions enter the white area from June 28th 2021, despite most of the regions had already entered it in the previous weeks.

About public transport and the rental with driver (NCC), in white area the occupancy threshold is raised up to 80% of the vehicle capacity, thus revoking the previous restriction of the filling coefficient of 50% set for the yellow area.

Legislative Decree 65/2021 also establishes a series of progressive reopenings for a resumption of economic activities, such as the possibility of eating in restaurants even indoors, opening of theme and amusement parks, participation in events and much more.

The restart of events represents a very important step for the tourism and bus rental sector, in fact groups can finally return to move to participate in presence in congresses and fairs, business meetings, private parties, sporting and cultural events, but always respecting safety protocols and following the well-known hygiene and behavioral rules.

Among the many highly anticipated news there is also the abolition of the hourly limits for travel in the white area, so you can return to enjoy the beauties of the illuminated capital with the bus tour Rome by night, much appreciated and requested by tourists.

Another very important novelty is the introduction of the Covid-19 Green Pass certifying the recovery from the virus or the carrying out of the vaccine or negative covid-test in the previous 48/72 hours, which is necessary both to move to Europe and to participate in some events such as weddings and concerts.

From August 6th the Green Pass is destined to become a fundamental document in various areas of daily life, in fact it will be used to access resaturants and any type of indoor dining service, shows, events and sports competitions, museums, institutes and cultural places, swimming pools, gyms, wellness centers, fairs, festivals, conventions and congresses, spas, theme and amusement parks, cultural and recreational centers, gambling halls and casinos.

From September 1st to December 31st 2021 (except for extensions), it is also necessary to have the Green Pass to board tourist coaches, as established by Art. 2 of the Law Decree n. 111 of August 6th 2021, with the exception of exempt persons and children under 12 years of age.

Finally, from June 28th 2021 the obligation to wear face masks outdoors in the white area lapses, except in contexts in which there are gatherings or in the presence of more than 10 people together, while the obligation to wear face masks will be always valid indoors and on board tourist coaches and public transport.

The entry into the white area certainly marks a new beginning towards the exit from the pandemic, with a new gradual recovery for the tourism sector, also favored by the return of foreigners to Rome and throughout Italy.

Capacity Decree and Super Green Pass

The Capacity Decree (DL 139/2021 of October), converted into law on December 1st, 2021 with the final vote of the Chamber, establishes new rules for the capacities of indoor places and means of transport.

The obligation of social distancing is canceled both in museums and other places of culture and on board tourist buses, where capacity returns to 100% in the white zone.

From December 6th, 2021, the Super Green Pass comes into force, the paper or digital document certifying the completion of the vaccination cycle or recovery from Covid and valid for 9 months, strengthened compared to the previous Green Pass which was also issued to those who had taken a swab test with negative result.

The Super Green pass is required to access public places such as indoor discos and restaurants, hotels and changing rooms for sports activities, to attend shows and sporting events, to participate in parties and ceremonies, to board regional and interregional trains, finally also for local public transport, as established by the new decree-law of November 24th.

For the regions that will eventually be in the orange zone, the restrictions and limitations envisaged in the past will not apply, but only Super Green Pass holders will be able to access the activities.