Montreal taxi operators say they are starting to feel the economic effect of the new coronavirus. According to the reports from Global’s Olivia O’Malley, operators are getting it hard to get work as the Quebec state goes on to implement the latest standards to avoid a virus spread.
While the Quebes government ramps up measures to shield the public from the novel coronavirus, economic interruptions are breaking via the weak taxi sector of the industry.
Elias Dabneh operates in downtown Montreal. He has said that his market is beginning to wane. Although he normally picks up ten clients on a normal day, on Friday, he just had 3 passengers.
“Everybody is afraid of the virus,” says Dabneh.
Taxi operators such as Dabneh stated they began feeling the squeeze after the region rolled out fresh guidelines aimed at controlling COVID-19 spread, the infection triggered by the new coronavirus.
The government workers coming back from trips overseas are ordered to stay in houses in quarantine for fourteen days. Travellers are also requested to retaliate. This is a section of the protocol.
Also, Quebec colleges and daycares are shut down for two weeks. In addition to the public industry, the region is as well are requesting workers who can operate from home to do that.
ON Saturday, Azzi Lubaili was left for hours outside the crowded Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. Although he was expecting to draw some business, Dabneh stated that he didn’t obtain one customer in a 5-hour session.
“There is no one in the streets,” he stated. “Hotels are empty, restaurants are empty. There are no clients.”
On Saturday, François Bonnardel, Transport Minister stated in a tweet that protective directions were offered to taxi firms and ride-hailing services amid the developing figure of COVID-19 cases.
One of the recommendations is that taxi operators are requested to frequently wash their vehicles and not to touch their faces. Also, they stay at home in case they have a fever or a cough, which are the major coronavirus symptoms.
But the standards do not just appeal to the staff. According to the province, taxi operators need to inform clients to wrap their faces with either a mask or a scarf in case they have a cough or fever.
“It’s a virus that leads to panic a bit but we also should not be panicking,” he stated.
Uber verified in an announcement it also has no plan of holding service, however, that it is managing to maintain users secure. The firm stated it is in tight connection with area health authorities.