Together for safety: wearing a face mask is important

Due to the worsened coronavirus situation, we would like to remind all passengers that wearing a face mask, keeping a safe distance from others and practicing good hand hygiene are essential in ensuring that travelling on public transport is as safe and pleasant as possible for all passengers. It is important that those who can wear a face mask do so. According to a study carried out by the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT last spring, the risk of COVID-19 transmission on public transport is very low when complying with the safety instructions issued for public transport.

Most passengers on public transport in the HSL area already wear a mask. HSL would like to thank all passengers who take part in ensuring safe public transport journeys. We monitor the use of face masks on public transport on a daily basis. Wearing a face mask has become more common as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise. According to the most recent observations, around 76 percent of passengers wear a face mask, says Sami Hulkkonen, HSL's security expert.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission on public transport in an urban environment is relatively small, because passengers take short journeys and the vehicles stop often, meaning that the doors are opened frequently, which boosts ventilation.

According to a report commissioned from the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, the risk of transmission on public transport seems to be very low when complying with the safety instructions issued for public transport. The instructions have remained the same throughout the pandemic. In addition to wearing a mask, you should keep your distance from others as much as possible, as it reduces the risk of droplet transmission and short-range aerosol transmission. Additionally, talking in low voice can also reduce the risk of transmission, Sami Hulkkonen continues.

We want to do our part in minimizing the number of COVID-19 infections and thus preventing different functions and services from being heavily restricted in our society. Our message We require the use of face masks on public transport means that you should always wear a mask if you do not have a special reason not to. Enhanced cleaning regimes continue on public transport vehicles. Public transport staff who are in close contact with customers are obliged to wear a face mask. They include, for example, ticket inspectors and commuter train conductors. Bus and tram drivers are exempted from the obligation because the drivers do not sell tickets and work in safety cabins, i.e. they are separated from passengers by a plexiglass barrier.

The use of the COVID-19 certificate has become more popular during the past few weeks. At the moment, HSL has no plans to incorporate the certificate into its services.