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A temporary scheme initiated in March 2020 to provide free travel for health care staff on public transport services is being extended to 31 August 2021.

Free public transport for healthcare workers has been extended till the end of August. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Making the announcement Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “In March 2020 at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic I took the decision to make public transport free for all health and social care workers in recognition of the tireless and vital work they undertake day and daily. This was a small gesture to those workers who put themselves in the frontline to save lives and look after some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“As we move through the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery, it is essential to continue to review the measures put in place.  In line with this, I can confirm that the scheme will be extended to 31 August 2021 after which time normal charging will resume.  Whilst the scheme was always intended to be temporary, I know this will be disappointing to many. I want to reassure our essential workers that our public transport will continue to be there for you.”

To ensure that customers are obtaining the best value travel, Translink will work with health workers to assist with which ticket option will be most suitable for them. To get more information, customers can visit WWW.TRANSLINK.CO.UK or call Translink’s contact centre on 02890 66 66 30 where its agents will be able give guidance on the best options.

The free travel for health and social care staff will also cease on the Strangford and Rathlin ferry services from 31 August 2021.

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