By Tony Winterburn • 23 January 2021 • 10:50
Barcelona Bans Talking on Public Transport to Reduce Potential COVID Transmission. image: Pixabay
Barcelona Bans Talking on Public Transport to Reduce Potential COVID Transmission.
BARCELONA was a pioneer in introducing ‘silence transport’, and now the region of La Rioja and the Balearic Islands have followed suit and also adopted this measure. The idea follows recommendations from health experts- talking in close proximity of other people aids transmission of the virus.
María Cruz Minguillón, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), explained that “people shouting or talking on the phone can emit up to fifty times more particles”.
European scientific studies show that public transport is not a particular risk zone, however, the measure could improve the health situation, Isidre Gavin i Valls, the Secretary of Infrastructure and Mobility of the Catalan Government said:
“Many people were afraid because it’s difficult to keep the security distance on public transport, but with measures such as banning eating or drinking, and to remain silent, we reduce the risks,” she says. It is only a recommendation and non-compliance will not lead to any sanctions, authorities confirmed.
On the Catalan Railway, green signs inside and outside train carriages carry a clear message: “Silence” or “silent trains”. This new initiative reaffirmed previous recommendations such as not talking on the phone, eating or drinking during journeys.
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), the company in charge of the metro and buses in the Catalan capital, has created the campaign “Avoid talking”. They urge travellers to remain silent via messages on the public address system on the metro, and messages on the bus screens, as well as posters.
The ‘silent trains’ initiative has advantages, such as allowing passengers to enjoy a quieter journey without distractions or noise. Some look at their mobile phones, others read or study. The ones that do talk do it in whispers. Others look disapprovingly at those who talk too loud or talk on the phone.
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