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More anti-Covid precautions as railway prepares for compulsory facemasks

TRAIN operators are stepping up measures to protect their staff and passengers from coronavirus, on the eve of new regulations which will require most passengers travelling on public transport to wear face coverings.

Facemasks or equivalent coverings for all passengers except those with respiratory problems will become compulsory from Monday.

Operators have also been increasing their services to increase capacity, because ‘non-essential’ shops will also be able to open from the start of next week. However, ScotRail has warned that as trains become busier, it cannot ‘guarantee’ that physical distancing will be possible during the entire journey.

Meanwhile Avanti West Coast, GWR and South Western Railway have announced that their trains are now being disinfected by a new sanitising spray which is said to kill 99.99 per cent of viruses on surfaces. GWR said the new spray, which is on trial, has been ‘proven to fight against Covid-19 for up to 28 days’, and that it is being used in addition to the increased cleaning routines which have already been in use for some time.

GWR interim managing director Matthew Golton said: ‘For those who need to travel, we are doing everything we can to carry as many people, safely, as we can. This new trial is just one example of that, helping those who do need to travel to do so with confidence. But please do help us by planning ahead, travelling, where possible, at quieter times, and wear a face covering to keep yourself and our staff safe.’

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