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Transport passengers urged to travel safer ahead of winter

Transport passengers are being urged to keep themselves and others safe by following some simple steps as coronavirus infection rates continue to rise ahead of winter.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is reminding those using trams, trains, buses and busy transport interchanges of the importance of wearing face coverings to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ahead of the season where more people traditionally succumb to cold and flu viruses, passengers can also help by keeping windows open onboard transport, maintaining ventilation, using hand gels and sanitisers or avoiding travelling when unwell.

The latest coronavirus infection rates show increases in all ten of the regional boroughs, with Trafford now reporting the highest infection rates in the United Kingdom.

Andy Burnham. Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “As we head into the winter months its worth remembering that the pandemic is still not over and that many other viruses, which will have had their transmission stymied by lockdowns last winter, will be in circulation this year.

“It's also worth remembering that many passengers could be living with underlying or invisible health conditions, so it’s the absolute minimum we can do to share this responsibility and offer them reassurance and a safer environment.

“The vaccination roll-out has been successful in reducing the most serious impacts of coronavirus, but infection rates are still high and something we need to keep on top of – especially during the cold and flu season when airborne virus transmission traditionally increases along with pressure on the NHS.

“It’s common sense to wear a face covering and increase ventilation in any crowded and enclosed setting - especially where you encounter people you don’t normally meet - so I’m urging people to keep their discipline, follow these simple guidelines and help build on the progress we’ve made.”

Katrina Stephens, chair of the Greater Manchester Association of Directors of Public Health, said: “The spirit of togetherness in doing our bit has made a vital difference over the last year and a half as we have learnt to live with coronavirus.

“While we are thankfully now seeing far fewer deaths and serious illnesses from the virus, now is not the time to let down our guard. In some of our local areas, the number of new cases is higher than at any stage of the pandemic.

“Too many of our children are needing to take time away from their education, and adults from their work, after getting infected. There remain significant threats to the wellbeing and finances of many residents and businesses alike. These risks are only increasing as the colder winter months approach.

“So please, keep on protecting yourself, your loved ones, your fellow residents, your community and your city region as a whole. And if you have children who use public transport to travel to school, please remind them about the importance of continuing to wear a face-covering during their journey.

“Remember that Covid’s Still Here and continue to take those small but significant actions when out and about that really do stop the virus from spreading”.  

The advice echoes that set out in the new Covid’s Still Here campaign, which urges people in Greater Manchester to keep doing the right thing by each other, keeping up safe behaviours and adopting new habits even if fully vaccinated. This includes:

  • Getting vaccinated
  • Regularly testing and self-isolating, where required
  • Staying at home if you’re feeling unwell
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Downloading and using the NHS COVID-19 app

The campaign also signposts to help for specific issues being experienced by residents, such as practical, financial, mental and physical health and employment support.

Transport for Greater Manchester is working with transport operators to ensure tram and bus services remain as safe and clean as possible, disinfecting key customer touch point on our trams and in bus stations and interchanges with antiviral cleaner every two hours.

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055

mediarelations@tfgm.com

Notes to editors

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for delivering Greater Manchester’s future transport strategy and commitments.

We also deliver a wide range of day-to day public transport and active travel services and projects to keep the city-region moving and growing.

With around six million journeys a day, we’re working hard to make travel easier through a better connected and well-informed Greater Manchester. To find out more about TfGM please visit tfgm.com/about-tfgm.