Commuters are being urged to avoid travelling on public transport during the peak-hour rush if possible to help slow the spread of coronavirus in NSW.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says off-peak travel is one method commuters can adopt to reduce the likelihood of person-to-person virus transmission.
“While staff have boosted maintenance and cleaning efforts on the network in response to COVID-19, customers need to take extra precautions too,” Mr Constance said in a statement on Monday.
“First and foremost we ask you to please stay home and avoid travel altogether if you are unwell. You cannot pass on COVID-19 or any virus if you are self-isolated at home.”
But additionally, the minister said, travelling outside of crowded peak hours can help reduce the chances of transmission because “sick people in close proximity to others is causing the global spread of the virus”.
Transport for NSW is working with NSW Health, other government agencies and private operators to boost customer safety.
Cleaning “squads” have been deployed across trains, buses, ferries and light rail networks, Mr Constance said, with a particular focus on high-traffic areas including Central, Town Hall and Wynyard stations in Sydney’s CBD.
Customers are being encouraged to use Opal or other contactless payments where possible to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.
Ticket inspectors will check travellers’ Opal or credit cards without touching them.
Everyone – staff and commuters – are being told good hand hygiene is crucial after touching handles, rails, buttons and windows on public transport.