National bus pass holders in Plymouth will be allowed to travel on local services for free at any time of day from Thursday 19 March.
The bus pass is normally not valid until 9.30am on weekdays but the Council is temporarily removing all time restrictions. This so that older people can take advantage of the early opening arrangements many shops are offering during the coronavirus outbreak, should they need to do so.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “A number of supermarkets and grocery stores are opening earlier than usual to allow older shoppers to buy food when it is quieter.
"However, those who need to use the bus are disadvantaged by the fact that they then need to pay for what for them in an essential trip.
"We hope that by lifting these restrictions, we can make a very stressful period just a little easier."
It is accepted that for some people, the bus is their only method of transport and going shopping for themselves is the only way of ensuring they have food in the cupboards. The lifting of time restrictions is designed for them.
Although this is a positive step, older people and those in vulnerable groups need to be aware of the government guidelines around social distancing.
The government are advising people in vulnerable groups who have friends or family that can shop for them, or can use online services, to use those methods rather than venture to the shops themselves.
Further advice on social distancing is available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distanci…