In the last few days, there’s been a lot of confusion about the government’s new eased lockdown guidelines.

One of the most bizarre contradictions (besides people being allowed to see their cleaner but not their families) is that the government thinks it’s fine for people to go to work, but doesn’t want people to use public transport.

So in urban areas like London, where the majority of people get to work using rail or bus, this presents a serious problem for people in a time where it’s very easy to catch a potentially deadly virus.

Shocking footage has emerged of commuters, many of whom were effectively ordered back to work by Boris Johnson on Sunday evening, cramming on to packed trains and buses. It's one thing for workplaces to be "Covid secure" but surely public transport should be too?

In response to the videos of crammed trains and buses, lots of people have blamed the commuters, which doesn’t seem very fair.

Labour’s Dawn Butler pointed out this morning that other countries, such as Spain, are providing masks for people to wear on public transport instead of “sending them out to catch the virus”.

So what does public transport look like in other places right now? How are other leaders protecting their citizens in a way that Boris Johnson isn’t?

France

In Paris, we can see that the government is clearly doing a much better job of getting people to practice social distancing on public transport. This might be one reason why France’s infection rate is currently much lower than the UK’s…

Serbia

In Belgrade, buses are practically empty still, despite lockdown being eased.

Italy

Rome has introduced 93 miles of emergency bike lanes to give commuters a chance to travel safely by reducing the burden on public transport. With the obvious environmental benefits too… shouldn’t London be doing this?

Russia

And in Russia, we see them hosing down rail stations and giving them a thorough clean. Which Transport for London says it’s doing too, so that’s good.

So it seems that, for now, other countries seem to be doing a better job of keeping their citizens safe on public transport.

We really hope this changes soon.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)