The long-distance coach company Eurolines said May 26 it will resume traffic with neighboring countries from June 5. The first buses from Rīga will start their journey in the direction of Kaunas, and then in the middle of June the routes to Vilnius, Warsaw, Gdansk and Tallinn will be renewed, the company said in a news release.
“We will gradually resume our travels. At the beginning we will travel to Lithuania, from the middle of June we will resume trips to Tallinn, Warsaw, and Gdansk. Of course, we will observe and evaluate the situation, as every week is different. During the quarantine period, we received a lot of calls and e-mails every day with questions about when we were going to open one or another route. People want to travel, this need has not disappeared. However, it will take time for everything to fall into place,” said Edmunds Pavlovs, director of Eurolines.
Carriers expect passenger flows to gradually return to normal, but this will also depend on other countries’ decisions to open their borders.
“We depend on other countries, not only Latvia or Estonia. If the Scandinavian countries open their borders and allow travel, then transportation by ferries and planes will also increase. On the other hand, people who travel to and from Scandinavia make up a large part of our passengers in the Baltic States. The more the opportunity to travel to other countries will be renewed in our neighboring countries, the greater the possibility that travelers from Latvia will also travel,” Pavlovs said.
When resuming operations, buses will be disinfected and ventilated before and after each journey. Disinfectants are being installed for passenger use on buses. Tickets will only be sold for every second seat, thus guaranteeing a distance between passengers.
“We’ll do our best to make traveling by bus safe and comfortable. We will also measure the body temperature of passengers with non-contact thermometers. Of course, bus drivers will work wearing safety masks, and we also encourage passengers to wear masks during the trip,” said Pavlovs.
“One of our most popular routes to the east is to Belarus and Ukraine. Until quarantine, the largest passenger flows were in this direction. However, we will only be able to restore them if the quarantine conditions gradually decrease. We are very much looking forward to it and hope that we will be able to travel already in the summer,” said Pavlovs.