SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro said on Saturday (Apr 4) that it will waive taxi rental for one month to help their cabbies "tide over this incredibly difficult period" after the Government announced that all non-essential workplaces and schools will be closed to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in a live telecast on Friday that all workplaces - except for those providing essential services - and schools would be closed under a month-long "circuit breaker" to stem the pandemic. Workplaces will be closed from Tuesday, while schools will move to full home-based learning from Wednesday. This will be in place until May 4.
Taxi rental will be waived from Tuesday until May 5, ComfortDelGro said in a press release.
READ: How F&B outlets, markets and food suppliers will operate amid COVID-19 'circuit breaker' measures
The full rental waiver is expected to cost the company an additional S$19 million.
This will supersede the earlier announced extension of daily rental relief, which was estimated to cost the company S$80 million.
That relief package, which will run until September, will kick back in after the full rental waiver expires on May 5.
Together, the total relief package for ComfortDelGro cabbies is expected to cost up to $99 million.
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“With the closure of non-essential workplaces and schools, our cabbies are going to find it even more difficult to make ends meet," said ComfortDelGro Taxi CEO Ang Wei Neng.
"With the full rental waiver, any fare they pick up will go straight to their pockets. We hope that this will help them tide over this incredibly difficult period.
“We want them to know that we are in this with them and we can pull through this together,” he added.
ComfortDelGro has said that its relief measures "will effectively push it into the red" for the year ending Dec 31, 2020, adding that this will be the "first time Singapore's largest taxi operator will post full-year losses".