Wuhan virus: Taxi rental to be waived for quarantined cabbies

A Comfort Delgro taxi. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
A ComfortDelGro taxi in Singapore. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s taxi firms announced on Monday (27 January) that they will waive taxi rental fees for any of their respective cab drivers placed under quarantine by the Ministry of Health (MOH) due to the Wuhan coronavirus.

The measures by the transport operators – ComfortDelGro, SMRT, Premier Taxi and Trans-Cab – come after the Singapore government announced that students and staff of public educational institutes, public childcare and eldercare facilities who have been to China will have to take 14 days' leave of absence starting the day after their return.

Separately, ComfortDelGro said in a media statement on its website that cabbies and staff who have returned from mainland China should inform the company of their travel history, and will also have to take a 14-day leave of absence upon their return.

The leave of absence will be granted as paid leave, over and above the staff’s annual leave entitlement.

Financial aid to assist affected cabbies, staff

ComfortDelGro will also extend assistance such as financial aid from its Cabby Hardship Fund where needed, and will work with the National Taxi Association and National Transport Workers’ Union to assist its affected cabbies and staff.

“We will do all we can to assist any cabby affected by the virus. The inability to drive has a direct impact on their livelihood and we will assist as best we can,” said Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group chief executive officer.

ComfortDelGro has also encouraged its cabbies, bus captains, frontline and backend staff to take precautionary measures such as cleaning and disinfecting their taxis more frequently, and to wear a face mask if they have respiratory symptoms, to protect those around them.

Cabbies who wish to don masks can get them from any of the ComfortDelGro fuelling stations or offices. The company is also providing disinfectant sprays for its cabbies at its fuelling stations.

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