Photos have shown crowds “packed to the rafters” on trains and rail platforms in the Sydney CBD sparking fears over the possible spread of coronavirus on public transport.
The photos taken on Tuesday afternoon show dozens of commuters standing close by each other at Sydney’s Central Station, many not wearing face masks. As the trains arrive, passengers can be seen packing close together as they enter the train.
On board the train, commuters can also be seen packed in close together, taking up every seat on board one service.
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It comes despite guidance from Sydney Trains urging commuters to distance within the carriages, sit on “Sit Here” stickers and stay off services that are too busy.
Despite warnings to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing while using public transport, it’s clear crowding could become a potential issue in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on buses and trains.
One commuter on Twitter said they’d been moved on from a protest, but had been able to catch a train that was “packed to the rafters” for half an hour.
“Anyone else notice packed trains this week in Sydney,” another commuter said last week. “I think I’ll be investing in some gloves and a few more masks.”
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW has been calling on the NSW Government to enforce social distancing on public transport with extra staff and COVID marshalls.
“After the emergence of new Covid cases using the public transport network, the union is calling on the government to hire Covid marshals to enforce physical distancing regulations on trains, buses and trams, strengthen its messaging on the need for commuters to wear masks,” the Union said in a statement last week.