Australia’s Queensland Government has announced that the long-haul train and coach services will be reduced to minimise the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey added that with the changes, rural and regional communities will still have access to transport.

Bailey said: “The Queensland border is now closed and we’re already seeing drops in patronage of up to 60% on buses and trains as people stay home.

“People will still have access to long-distance passenger services for essential reasons on all key corridors, but the frequency of those services will be reduced, and we’ll manage passenger numbers on board to separate passengers from each other.”

With the reduction in rail services, the services on the Spirit of the Outback, Westlander and Inlander will be suspended.

Additionally, the XPT trains operated by NSW Trains between Sydney and Brisbane will terminate at Casino and are not permitted to enter the state.

The North Coast Line passenger rail services that operate between Brisbane and Cairns will see a 50% decrease.

The suspension also extends to Savannahlander, Gulflander and Kuranda Scenic Railway services.

The long-distance coach services will also be decreased and operate on routed were the corresponding rail services are suspended.

The services will be restored when the situation improves.

The change in services will be implanted from 30 March. However, the changes on the Kuranda Scenic Railway services will come into effect from 27 March.

Earlier this week, Indian Ministry of Railways announced that the suspension of passenger railway operations will be extended until 14 April.