TOKYO: Japanese taxi operator Hinomaru Kotsu Co. has started separating the front and back seats of its taxis with plastic sheets to prevent droplet transmission of the new coronavirus inside the vehicles.
Hinomaru Kotsu is believed to be the first taxi operator in Japan to take such a measure.
Customers can open a section of the sheet to place money on a tray between the front passenger seat and driver’s seat. They can also pay by smart card through the sheet.
The company plans to introduce such partitions in all of its 600 vehicles, operated mainly in Tokyo, by mid-April.
The introduction of the partitions adds to a series of the company’s measures against COVID-19 infection, such as mandatory body temperature checks and face mask use as well as vehicle disinfection after each ride.
The number of people infected with the virus totaled 171 in Tokyo as of Tuesday, highest among Japan’s 47 prefectures.