Hand sanitizer dispensers installed at metro stations – people encouraged to bring their own as well

The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus on public transport is to maintain a safe distance to other passengers and practice good hand hygiene. It is a good idea to carry hand sanitizer with you in order to disinfect your hands when necessary.

To support passengers' efforts, the City of Helsinki is installing hand sanitizer dispensers at metro stations to ensure everyone's safety. About half of the planned dispensers have already been installed. So far, hand sanitizers for public transport users can be found at Matinkylä, Tapiola, Aalto University, Lauttasaari, Kamppi, Central Railway Station, University of Helsinki, Sörnäinen and Itäkeskus metro stations. Dispensers will be installed at other metro stations as soon as more are available from the supplier.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) issued a recommendation on 15 April that hand sanitizer should be made available whenever washing your hands is not possible. Setting up sanitizer dispensers is recommended for busy transport nodes, such as stations and terminals and public transport vehicles.

However, in practice, it is not possible to install hand sanitizer dispensers directly on public transport vehicles, as several thousand dispensers would have to be installed.

– HSL strongly agrees with THL's recent appeal to enhance hand hygiene on public transport as well. However, hand sanitizer dispensers on vehicles could cause unnecessary crowding in addition to problems related to their installation and replenishment, says HSL Director of Department Tero Anttila

For the foreseeable future, dispensers will not be installed at all metro stations. In all situations, the best way to ensure good hand hygiene on the go is to bring your own hand sanitizer you can use as necessary.

HSL wants to remind you that tickets can be purchased using the HSL smartphone app to avoid touching a card reader or ticket machine.

Public transport in the Helsinki region has operated almost normally throughout the coronavirus crisis. Public transport is an important service for the functioning of society also in times of crisis. Nearly 300,000 journeys are still being made on public transport every day, although the number of passengers has decreased significantly. On average, there is plenty of room in the vehicles for maintaining a safe distance to other passengers.