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The metro in Rome with social distancing measures.
The metro in Rome with social distancing measures.
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

With people returning to work, there's the question of how to get there. Many cities around the world are encouraging biking, walking and other private transportation methods to avoid clogging public transit systems that could be cesspools for the coronavirus as lockdowns ease. But for those without other options, taking trains, subways and buses will again become a part of daily life, though it will be anything but mundane. Here's how four cities are handling the return of the commuter:

Passengers wearing masks on the metro in Taipei. — Photo: Jin Liwang/Xinhua/ZUMA

  • Taipei: The Taiwan Railways Administration began requiring temperature-taking using infrared cameras and the Taipei metro has a similar system. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is banned from boarding. With its proximity to China, Taiwan enforced early containment measures nationwide, including daily and even hourly cleanings for trains and buses. Those arriving in Taiwan are banned from public transport and instead take epidemic-prevention taxis. Looking ahead, Taipei is also testing driverless buses, which eliminate drivers potentially becoming contaminated.
  • Casablanca: In March, the metro in Morocco's economic capital limited tram capacity to 100 passengers per vehicle on the city's two lines. Turnstiles, ticket validators and other equipment are cleaned regularly, with trams disinfected each night. The frequency of trams was also increased to spread out passengers, with similar measures in place for the tram system in Morocco's capital Rabat.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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