Thank you for contacting me about COVID-19 and transport staff and in particular the shocking and devasting case of Belly Majinga.
I want to start by passing on my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Belly Majinga at this incredibly difficult time. No words from any politician will be able to heal the pain and dampen the upset they will be feeling, and that is why we must redouble our efforts to ensure we keep our transport staff protected from harm.
Guidance has been issued to transport operators to help them identify and address risks to their staff as the lockdown eases. For example, the guidance encourages operators to carry out risk assessments, set out clear rules on interacting with passengers, re-deploy clinically vulnerable people into roles where the risk is lower, support staff to wear face coverings safely and use screens to create a physical barrier at places such as ticket offices.
In addition, operators should put in place protocols to ensure that both public and private areas and vehicles are kept clean to stop transmission of coronavirus through people touching contaminated surfaces. Buttons, handrails, vehicle keys and other touch points should be subject to increased cleaning.
Transport staff should wash their hands thoroughly and frequently and operators should maintain sufficient supplies of hand sanitiser, including for those working away from hand washing facilities.
The guidance recognises that transport staff may not be able to stay 2 metres apart from each other or passengers at all times, but states that the length of these periods should be minimised.
Guidance for passengers also makes clear to those who have to make essential journeys that they should consider all other transport options before deciding to take public transport. Passengers have also been advised to avoid using public transport during rush hour, as well as to stay a distance of two metres from others, wash or sanitise their hands and catch coughs or sneezes with tissues. People should not be using public transport at all if they have symptoms of coronavirus or if they or anyone in their household is self-isolating.
In the case of Belly Majinga the British Transport Police issued a statement on this which I have attached for you to see.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP