Social- -distancing measures to be taken in canal boats

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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will work with the Marine Department to put in place social-distancing measures in Bangkok’s commuter boats, deputy BMA governor Sakonthee Phatthiyakul said on Friday (April 24). 

“Owing to the lockdown, the number of passengers on boats plying the Saen Saeb Canal has reduced to 6,000 from 60,000 per day,” he said. “The fewer numbers means it is easier to implement social-distancing measures. The BMA will also take additional steps to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

“We are coordinating with the Marine Department to reorganise waiting areas at Bangkok’s 28 piers to ensure people stand at least a metre apart and use the provided hand-sanitising gel before and after they board the boat,” Sakonthee said. 

“During rush hour, pier staff have been instructed to maintain the number of passengers per boat at 40 to 50, while boat drivers have been instructed to stop at each pier for longer than usual, so passengers don’t rush and create a bottleneck at the boat’s entrance. 

Sakonthee added that the government may consider relaxing restrictions in the capital in coming weeks, which will see more people using boats to commute. 

“BMA will employ further measures to ensure social distancing is maintained, such as asking operators to provide extra boats during rush hour,” he said.