Keeping in mind the weekend curfew announced by the Karnataka government, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) announced that its bus services will be suspended on Saturday (January 8 and January 15) and Sunday (January 9 and January 16) for the next two weeks. The move comes in view of the weekend curfew and other restrictions announced by the Karnataka government till January 19, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, January 4, the Karnataka government announced a set of new guidelines specifically for Bengaluru city, which included weekend curfews, closure of physical classes in schools and colleges and restrictions on all gatherings.
While BMTC buses will not be functional for the general public, they will be operated for personnel engaged in essential services and exempted activities. A press release stated that 10% of buses will be operated for essential services in Bengaluru city, between 6 am and 10 pm on weekends. The passengers who will be allowed to travel in the buses include health staff, police, patients and their attendants, bank and insurance employees, media persons and students attending examinations. All of them are required to carry documents to prove their identity with them.
The bus crew members have been asked to strictly follow masking procedure and allow passengers only if seats are available. Further, all passengers will have to wear a face mask, without which they will not be allowed to travel, and follow physical distance. The BMTC has asked passengers suffering from fever and other ailments to refrain from travelling.
Karnataka has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last five days. State Health Minister K Sudhakar had earlier said it was necessary to take special steps in Bengaluru to combat the spread of the virus as the city is likely to be the epicentre of the ongoing third wave.