As part of the EU’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EU member states have adopted a set of conclusions aimed at restoring passengers’ and workers’ confidence by minimising the risk of infection in cross-border travel.
It says these should apply to all cross-border passenger transport services, including trains and ferries.
- physical distancing or, where this is not feasible, use of masks,
- greater use of digital ticketing and digital ticket inspections,
- observing high standards of fresh air circulation and cleanliness of means of transport.
In a set of conclusions, the European council, the EU body that represents the 27 member states, has sought to promote a number of basic hygiene and infection control measures.
The European Commission and member states are now urged to coordinate the application of the council guidelines and recommendations.
A council spokesman told this website on Friday, “The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions have for the time being changed people’s mobility patterns and led to a significant drop in the number of passengers across all modes of collective passenger transport.”
He said that it was encouraging that, as the lockdown and travel restrictions are gradually being relaxed and temporary controls at internal borders are being lifted, passenger numbers appear to be rising again.
The text adopted on Friday by the European council asks member states to continue to conduct information and publicity campaigns in order to strengthen travellers’ confidence.
This could be done by raising their awareness of the measures taken to contain the pandemic including “discouraging travellers from embarking any means of transport when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.”
Transport operators providing cross-border services and travel agents, in particular, are also being asked to make available on their websites and software “all the information in their possession on hygiene rules and recommended behaviour in public spaces and on the means of transport, whenever possible.”
The formal text goes on, “Unless other measures can be taken for maintaining physical distance, it is suggested that travellers cover their mouth and nose on all means of transport operating cross-border.”
This includes a range of transport modes, including trains, boats and planes and applies both at access points, boarding and disembarkation.