The 4 big things you should do on the London Underground to lower your risk of catching coronavirus – MyLondon
As we all move towards the new normal more and more people will be using public transport, including the London Underground.
We’re all a bit nervous about this – is it really safe? Will it cause a surge of cases and make us go back into lockdown?
TfL is confident that the measures put in place, including making face coverings mandatory and installing lots of hand sanitation points, as well as enforcing social distancing measures, will help protect passengers.
And for those of you who aren’t convinced, we’ve got some positive news for you.
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A study that looked into cases of coronavirus spread on the Metro system in Paris and Tokyo was recently conducted, and the results surprised researchers – it seems the transport networks are pretty safe.
As reported in Bloomberg, coronavirus clusters – defined as three cases or more of Covid-19 linked by contact – were seen in many areas of Paris, but none associated with any of the public transport systems.
These results were echoed in results found in Japan – clusters there were connected to gyms, bars, music clubs and karaoke rooms, but none were traced to the country’s famously crowded commuter trains.
Off the back of these results, the researchers looked into why this is happening and it turns out there are four main ways the spread of coronavirus can be avoided on public transport – here’s what they are.
Wear a face covering
It’s the most obvious – and now mandatory – but it works.
You’ll struggle to forget to put your face mask on with all these signs in place
(Image: April Curtin)
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “It’s extremely important for everyone to wear a face covering when on the transport network to protect fellow passengers and staff.”
He added: “Making face coverings mandatory comes in addition to other measures designed to maintain social distancing, such stickers and signage, limits on the number of people carried by buses, hand sanitisers and extensive and enhanced cleaning of all vehicles.”
This was an interesting finding – and one that makes a lot of sense.
Chatting to someone else releases more germs into the air, especially dangerous in such an enclosed space.
Thankfully, it’s something we don’t do anyway – no one would dare talk to a stranger during the daily commute in normal time, and now wearing a face mask makes it pretty impossible.
This result is backed up by the study looking at Paris and Tokyo – both cities’ transit systems are incredibly silent places.
Open the windows
In normal times it’s a controversial thing – some people love the breeze let in by the opening of the windows on the end of the Tube carriages, others hate it.
But during the pandemic it could make all the difference, as the circulation of air ensures any droplets in the enclosed space are dispersed quickly.
Maintain social distancing
Yes it’s annoying to queue, but in the end if it makes the difference between getting coronavirus or not it’s worth it.
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The research shows passengers in Tokyo and Paris are adhering to the social distancing guidelines, which proves it does make a difference.
TfL have in place a whole host of measures to help make this easier, such as signage, stickers and one way systems – so the key is to follow the rules.