Air and surface samples from a tube train showed no signs of Covid (Picture: Reuters)
Scientists haven’t found any traces of coronavirus on London’s trains and buses during regular tests dating back to October.
Experts from Imperial College London are taking air and surface samples every month on a London Underground journey between two major stations, and on a bus ride in the capital.
Samples are taken from station concourses and commonly touched surfaces such as ticket machines and escalator handles.
All the results have tested negative, including for variants of coronavirus.
Dr David Green, senior research fellow at Imperial, said the findings from the ‘very sensitive’ testing are ‘reassuring for passengers’.
He said a number of factors are contributing to the negative results, including Transport for London’s enhanced cleaning regime, the requirement for passengers to wear face coverings, and the reduction in demand.
‘It shows that we’re taking the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of transmission on the Underground network,’ he said.
The number of people travelling on London’s public transport system plunged to as low as 15% of normal levels during the first lockdown last year and has remained well below what would normally be expected throughout the past year.
Trains and buses are being tested every month during the pandemic (Picture: Getty)
Dr Green added that the tests will be useful for when coronavirus restrictions are eased.
‘It will be an early warning system to tell us, “is the risk of transmission on transport networks becoming more likely as more passengers return to the networks?”,’ he said.
‘We do need to keep social distancing in mind, and we do need to keep wearing masks because these are the reasons that the virus transmits between humans.
‘It’s through aerosol transmission, it’s through touching surfaces, it’s through being very close to other people.’
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