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Mandatory or voluntary Poll finds Swiss want tougher mask regime on public transport

Member of staff hands out face mask to a passenger in Geneva tram

Caught in contradiction: Many people in Switzerland would prefer protective face mask are made mandatory in public transport but they are not willing to wear them on a voluntary basis. 

(Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

A growing majority of Swiss residents favour an official order for passengers in public transport to wear protective masks but very few appear to do so voluntarily.

An opinion poll by the Tamedia newspaper group, published on Monday, found that more than two out of three respondents would prefer masks to be mandatory in trains and buses to protect people against the infectious Covid-19 virus.

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The figure is slightly higher compared with a similar poll from April.

Just over 26,000 people took part in the latest survey which has a margin of error of +/-1.4%, according to the organisers.

The findings come as organisations representing staff at public transport companies are considering moves to convince the government to upgrade its recommendation for the wearing of protective masks.

They criticised the fact that personnel must wear masks to protect itself, but passengers don’t, the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper quoted a senior official from train staff.

The organisations estimate that only about 5% of passengers in trains wear masks, even in crowded trains.

The chief executive of the national railway operator (SBB/CFF), Vincent Ducrot, has dismissed the request, saying the Federal Railways were applying government regulations.

The government has advised the general public to wear a mask if they can’t keep a minimum distance of two metres from others. A week ago, public transport companies resumed full service after a break of about two months.

swissinfo.ch with Keystone-SDA/ug

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