The City of Lethbridge is changing bus boarding protocols and suspending fares in response to concerns over COVID-19.

Anyone needing to use Transit is now asked to load at the back of the bus and riders will not be required to pay a fare.

The goal is to limit contact between drivers and riders and promote social distancing.

City Manager Jody Meli says Lethbridge Transit needs to continue to operate as an essential city service but it should be used for essential travel only.

Anyone with special mobility or accessibility needs will still be allowed to use the ramp at the front of the bus.

Passengers are also asked to stay at least two metres away from each other and drivers.