How to stay hygienic while on public transport

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Commuting and using public transport in winter can be one of the most common places to pick up colds and viruses.

While we are all cautious about wearing masks on public transport at the moment, it is essential also to maintain good hand hygiene as there are plenty of places on buses and trains where you could pick up germs. If you get germs on your hands, you can quickly transfer them to your face and eyes which can lead to you becoming unwell.

Germ hotspots around public transport can include:

  • Handrails and supports around the bus
  • Buttons to open the doors on trains
  • Tray tables on trains
  • Ticket barriers at train stations
  • The bell to stop the bus
  • Seating on public transport

How to avoid getting a cold or virus on public transport

While commuting can potentially risk exposing yourself to a lot of germs, it is essential not to let this get in the way of getting to where you need to go.

When on the bus or the train, avoid sitting next to anyone who is visibly unwell. One of the main ways of catching a cold is through inhaling airborne droplets of mucus from an infected person. If someone is coughing and sneezing move away from them if you can or face away from them to minimise exposure.

If you must touch surfaces that you think might be unclean, such as handrails or seats, you can protect your hands with hand sanitiser.

Hand sanitiser kills up to 99.9% of germs on your hands by dissolving the lipid membrane of any bacteria you might pick up from holding the handrail, or opening train doors.

Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you at all times on public transport means that you can reliably avoid bacteria where possible by maintaining good hand hygiene.

When to sanitise your hands on transport

Any time you touch a new surface, you should sanitise your hands, but it is particularly important when you get onto transport and once you get off. Not only does this protect you, but also those around you as any germs you bring onto the bus or train will be killed once you sanitise.

As an extra precaution, and under government guidelines, it is always recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly when you reach your destination. The combination of sanitising and hand washing should keep colds and viruses at bay.