Bus Health and Safety Tips for Parents and Children
6 tips to keep students healthy and safe while riding to school during the COVID-19 outbreak
16 August 2020
Ahead of the new school year, we break down health and safety advice for UAE pupils
With the start of the UAE academic year 2020/2021 just a few weeks away, non-profit group RoadSafetyUAE worked with School Transport Services (STS) to develop a holistic safety protocol which includes effective COVID-19 protection measures for school students.
Similar to the reopening of schools and classrooms across the country, school buses will also implement a new set of guidelines for staff and students to help reduce the spread of the virus.
"...In these challenging times, there is a renewed focus on the safety aspect of our operations, and we have added a comprehensive list of COVID-19 related safety requirements for our student school bus services," said Steve Burnell, Managing Director of STS.
"The safety protocol includes pre-trip bus sanitisation, the social distancing of students before boarding, face mask mandate, personal hygiene, temperature checks, smart bus ID-card scanning, monitoring student welfare, social distancing and signage on-board, seat belt mandate, social distancing upon de-boarding and post-trip bus sanitisation," he continued.
For students of schools and universities who use public commute, here are a few tips on how to keep safe while using the RTA buses, Dubai metro line, or government taxis.
1. Use card payment as much as possible
The NOL card is the only accepted mode of payment when boarding an RTA bus or Dubai metro line. Try to limit cash payment at the station by topping up your child's NOL card by using a debit/credit card beforehand. This can be done online and helps reduce the risks of touching coins, cash, and public top-up machines at the metro.
For taxis, passengers can also pay using a NOL card. In addition, convenience stores inside metro stations and major supermarkets such as Carrefour accept this card.
2. Maintain social distancing
All modes of public transport in Dubai have placed strict physical distancing measures for the safety of their passengers and staff.
No doubt when schools reopen again, passenger traffic will increase. Inform your child to avoid rushing, squeezing into packed lines, and crowded trains.
3. Wear protective items
A face mask is mandatory for all students in Dubai.
To improve your child's protection, consider giving them a face shield and hand gloves to use while in public transport.
4. Remind others to stay responsible
Metro and public bus crowds will become difficult as others typically ignore physical distancing. During the morning and afternoon rush, cramming can be a common sight.
Remind your child that they may speak up about requiring a safe distance between themselves and other passengers, on the chance that they find themselves dealing with impatient people.
5. Practice hand hygiene
Ensure your child carries hand sanitizer with them that is at least 60% alcohol. After leaving a bus, train, or taxi, he or she should use hand sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds.
6. Avoid touching surfaces
Students must try to avoid contact with surfaces that are frequently touched by other passengers, such as the door handle, windows, etc
If contact is unavoidable, hand gloves will help safeguard them in case they need to touch surfaces such as rails, handles, poles, and elevator buttons. Hand sanitizers must also be used afterwards.