First West of England is moving all timetables to Sunday services 'to ensure key workers, including health service and emergency workers, can get to and from their places of work'.
They say the change - from Monday - also means 'those without a car can still collect medical prescriptions or do their essential shopping' and it will 'additionally run routes that don’t normally run on Sunday as well as extra early buses for the morning peak'.
First West of England says it has been working in close consultation with all the local authorities in the area as well as the West of England
Combined Authority and keeping in touch with the Traffic Commissioner about its proposals.
James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England, said: “With much of the UK effectively ordered to stay at home for at least the next few weeks, we have made the decision to move to an emergency timetable based on Sunday frequencies but covering additionally those routes that don’t normally run on Sundays in order to support those who still need to get to and from work and get out to shops and pharmacies, whilst fulfilling our own role as vital key workers during this time of national crisis.
“Just a few weeks ago it was almost inconceivable that these restrictions would be in place, which only underlines what a challenging, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation the UK faces, and which First West of England is monitoring and responding to day-by-day, hour-by-hour.
“Rest assured everything is being done to keep key workers mobile as the nation comes together to limit the spread of coronavirus.”
Added James “We are doing everything possible to deploy staff across our operations with a view to minimising the impacts for everybody.
“Regular customers can be assured we will endeavour to get more frequent services back up and running as soon as the Government decides it is safe to do so.
“Please bear with us as given the fast-changing nature of the situation it will be difficult to keep all our communication channels updated with the latest information.
"Customers are advised to refer in the first instance to the First West of England website www.firstgroup.com/help-and-support/coronavirus-information for the most up to date service information, travel advice and information about coronavirus. They should be aware that the service information on the First Bus app for example, may not reflect updated timetables immediately. We are working hard to reflect the latest service information across all our digital channels.
"In addition to the above, and in response to expected very low demand as well as an increasingly challenging staffing position, the service on Saturday 28th March will now be a Sunday service, with a few small exceptions, to serve Weston Hospital, for example."