Flemish transport company De Lijn now has a 30% occupancy rate, which is twice as much as at the beginning of May, according to Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters.
On a normal day before the coronavirus crisis, De Lijn carried between 820,000 and 970,000 passengers, according to its figures. In the period of the lockdown before 4 May, that number had dropped to between 90,000 and 100,000 passengers per day.
Since 4 May, when non-essential businesses and industries could start up work again, and wearing a mask on public transport became mandatory, De Lijn has again seen a slight increase.
As a result of the gradual relaxation of the restrictions, the occupancy rate has continued to rise in recent weeks.
Since 15 May, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres is no longer compulsory on public transport, even though wearing a mask remains an obligation for everyone aged 12 and older.
People follow the rule very well and there are “few reports of travellers not wearing mouth masks,” said Peeters, adding that the virologists agree that the degree of infection on public transport is “small to non-existent due to the obligation to wear masks.”