This week South Africa entered level three of a phased approach to lifting lockdown restrictions.

While South Africans are still not allowed to go to gym or visit family members, a number of sectors have reopened under new regulations and that means more folks in need of transport to work.

Bolt has said that demand for what it calls “Isolated Cars” has surged in recent months.

But what is an Isolated Car?

“Vehicles have a protective barrier installed between the front and back seats, providing a physical shield between the driver and their passenger, limiting the airflow between the drivers and riders inside the cars,” explains Bolt country manager for South Africa, Gareth Taylor.

Bolt says it had 500 vehicles outfitted with these barriers in March but now has as many as 3 000 vehicles with the protective measures. Demand has surged so much that Bolt is subsidising the installation of the barriers for an additional 4 000 vehicles.

The country manager goes on to say that he expects demand for these rides to come from healthcare, laboratory and other essential services workers.

In truth the barrier is simply a sheet of thick plastic but it’s better than having nothing. We should also remind our readers that Bolt riders are required to wear a mask (as are drivers) and this barrier serves as an additional risk mitigation factor.

Bolt drivers are also required to sanitise their vehicles after every trip.

“Bolt has responded quickly throughout the lockdown period to create solutions that have helped essential services workers get to work safely, while also ensuring that drivers using the platform continue to earn an income,” says Taylor.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.