A free bus service has been launched for people needing to attend a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Swansea.
The new 51 service runs from Swansea’s central bus station in the Quadrant, to the Bay Field Hospital, from 8am to 8pm, stopping at several places along the way.
There are three services an hour, departing every twenty minutes.
First Cymru managing director Jane Reakes-Davies said: “There are of course many people who rely on public transport to get to and from the vaccination centre, which is why we have been working with Swansea City Council and NHS Wales to put on a free, dedicated bus service throughout the day that serviced the same hours as the vaccination centre will be operating.
“As we have been doing with our entire fleet throughout this pandemic, the vaccination centre bus is rigorously cleaned every day with a viricidal disinfectant, with additional focus on frequently touched objects and surface areas. In addition to the daily enhanced cleaning regime, the vehicle is treated with a long-lasting hospital-grade sanitiser.
“As part of our rigorous safety measures, windows are kept open to increase air circulation in the saloon, and we urge people to use the hand sanitiser provided and practice social distancing, and not eat or drink.
“Passengers are reminded they must wear a facemask covering nose and mouth for the entire journey, unless they are exempt”.
“Whilst the stop closest to the vaccination centre currently requires a short walk to the entrance, we are currently working with Swansea City Council and the NHS to explore options so the service can drop off and pick up patients as close to the entrance as feasibly possible.”
Find out more about coronavirus in your area
The new service is being paid for by Swansea Council and will operate only on those days when experts from Swansea Bay NHS are delivering vaccinations or taking blood tests at the hospital. It is only for use by people attending the hospital.
Mark Thomas, Swansea Council cabinet member for environment enhancement and infrastructure management said the service would help enable everyone called to the hospital for a vaccination or to do a blood test to attend on time.
He added: “We know many people getting their vaccinations will be able to make their own way to the hospital. But it’s important to put a bus service in for those who are unable to get there by car.
“But don’t forget if you’re going to use the service then you’ll need to wear a mask on the bus and keep your distance from other travellers using it.”
There are currently three vaccination centres in the Swansea Bay University Health Board region; in addition to the Bay Field Hospital, there are also centres at Margam Orangery and Canolfan Gorseinon.
In addition, all 49 GP practices in Swansea Bay have signed up to deliver the first Covid-19 vaccination to patients over the age of 80, and the eight GP clusters are vaccinating in care homes.
All care home residents and staff, frontline healthcare and social care workers and extremely vulnerable people, and those over 80 are due to receive their vaccination by mid-February.
The target then is for all people with an underlying health condition and all over-50s to receive their jab by sprint, and all adults in Wales by autumn.
People should not call their GP surgery or hospital, but will be contacted directly with details.
The free bus service departs from Bay D at the station.
-- to www.walesonline.co.uk