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Coronavirus commuting  Face masks advised on crowded trains and buses 

Train station with people in masks

Passengers are advised to wear masks in situations where social distancing is not possible. 

(Keystone)

As Swiss public transport prepares to resume normal schedules on May 11, Swiss Railways and PostBus have presented their plans for preventing the spread of coronavirus.  

After “intensive discussions” with the Federal Office of Public Health, the two companies have adopted six recommendations, forming “the heart of our protection system in the health crisis”, according to Swiss Railways boss Vincent Ducrot in a joint online press conference with PostBus head Christian Plüss on Thursday. 

During their journey, passengers are advised to keep their distance from others, to avoid rush hour and to spread out inside transport vehicles. In situations where a distance of two metres from other people cannot be maintained, they are advised to wear masks. They should buy tickets online and wash their hands regularly. It will not yet be possible to buy tickets on buses, said Christian Plüss. 

The two companies said they are counting on individual responsibility and solidarity between passengers. 

The same rules apply to the transport companies’ employees, they said. “Where distance cannot be respected, employees wear a mask,” said Ducrot, citing the examples of train ticket inspectors and drivers of crowded buses.   

Waiting rooms are to remain closed but toilet and washing facilities in main stations, that usually charge a fee, will be free of charge. Transport companies will also step up cleaning and disinfecting, especially of surfaces that meet human contact. 

Ducrot said this was not a return to normal but a “first step towards a return to normal”. Meanwhile, the Union of Swiss Townsexternal link is urging all those who can work from home to continue to do so.  


RTS/jc

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