Thousands of Covid-19 testing kits are being offered to staff at Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express to help prevent the spread and give added reassurance to staff and passengers returning to the railway.
From Monday, 31 May, at-home lateral flow testing kits will be made available at stations, depots and offices across Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the UK's largest rail network which covers 11 counties, from East Sussex to Norfolk.
Mark Whitley, GTR's Head of Safety & Health, said: "We take the safety of our staff and the public extremely seriously. For months we've had test centres open for our colleagues. Now, the move to self-test kits will continue to help stem the spread of Covid-19, giving added reassurance to staff, as well as passengers as they return to the railway."
To reassure people travelling by rail, GTR sanitises every one of its 2,700 carriages daily and uses long-lasting viricide across its network, which kills coronavirus for weeks at a time.
Other measures include:
- Modern trains have air conditioning which replaces the fresh air in each carriage every 6-9 minutes
- Alerts show busy trains in online journey planners such as National Rail Enquiries, where passengers can also subscribe to journey alerts and see information on busier services
- A new 'live maps' service, available from the top right-hand side of each train service's websites (Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern), shows the service status of each route
- Weekly Covid safety checks are carried out across trains and stations, looking at cleaning, passenger information, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings
- Over 1,000 touch-free hand sanitisers have been installed at stations since the start of the pandemic
Independent laboratory results show that Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern trains are testing negative for Covid-19.