The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has observed that Penang ferry users are not conducting themselves properly at the ferry terminals with Covid-19 in mind. When the ferry gates open to let riders on and off the ferry most of the passengers rush for the ferry gates.
This kind of behaviour is dangerous because when all the ferry passengers rush for the ferry gates they are squeezing into a group and there is no social distancing. Doing this could increase the chance of someone who is infected with Covid-19 but asymptomatic spreading the disease to others.
The ferry is a form public transport that often has a heavy load because of people travelling from the mainland to the island and vice versa. As more people are being forced to leave the safety of their homes during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and go back to work we expect to see the ferry ridership increase towards the normal load. Furthermore, the Hari Raya Aildilfitri weekend is coming up. As the government has not banned visiting and travelling from the mainland to the island (and vice versa), we also expect a big increase in ferry passenger load.
As a measure to stop the increase of Covid-19 and a potential second wave from happening in Malaysia all ferry riders, not just in Penang, need to queue up to get on and off the ferry. CAP asks that ferry passengers heed this advice and that the personnel at the ferry terminals seriously observe and instruct the ferry passengers to act accordingly when getting on and off the ferry.
Press Statement, 21 May 2020