COVID-19: Taxi, private-hire drivers allowed to deliver food and groceries until end-September

COVID-19: Taxi, private-hire drivers allowed to deliver food and groceries until end-September

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: A taxi driver wearing a protective face mask reads the newspaper as he waits for customers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Singapore May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE: Taxi and private-hire drivers will be able to continue delivering food and groceries to homes until the end of September, as authorities extend a temporary rule allowing them to do so.

Making the announcement in a Facebook post on Saturday (May 23), Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said this will help supplement the income of these drivers, while meeting the high demand for home deliveries.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) liberalised point-to-point regulations on Mar 29 to allow the use of taxis and private-hire cars for grocery and food deliveries, as part of addressing the surge in demand for home deliveries. This was intended to last for three months. 

READ: COVID-19: Taxi, private-hire car drivers allowed to make home deliveries to meet increased demand

This demand will “remain high” as Singapore gradually eases its “circuit breaker” rules from Jun 1, said Mr Khaw.

“To meet this need, LTA will extend the temporary liberalisation of regulations by another three months, till the end of September,” he wrote.

“This means taxi and PHC (private-hire car) drivers can continue to supplement their incomes, as well as meet the needs of merchants and residents. It is win-win all round.”

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More than 10,000 taxi and private-hire drivers are currently tapping the new regulation to carry out delivery services, Mr Khaw said in his post.

Authorities will monitor the situation to ensure that consumers of traditional taxi and private-hire services are not marginalised, he added.

"This is to ensure that those who are returning to work post-circuit breaker, to help reopen the economy, are well served in a timely way," he said.

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Source: CNA/sk(cy)

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