Nagoya, Japan – The Chubu District Transport Bureau on Dec. 10 permitted taxi companies to change their terms of transportation so that they can refuse passengers who are not wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The response came after 18 taxi operators including Tsubame Taxi Group and Fuji Taxi Group applied for permission to reject such passengers. The authorization was given to 1,554 taxis in Aichi, Gifu and Mie prefecture in central Japan. The transport bureau will approve other taxi firms upon their requests.
Though Japan’s Road Transportation Act basically bans taxis from declining rides to passengers, those companies can do so due to the latest change to the terms of transportation. Taxi drivers can ask passengers why they do not have a mask on and refuse them a ride if they do not provide a legitimate reason such as a medical condition or that their child is too small to wear one.
According to the transport bureau, there are cases in which drunken passengers talk loudly without wearing masks. It explained that it authorized taxi companies to change their terms of transportation to prevent taxi drivers from getting infected and to allow other passengers to use taxis at ease.