A clean sweep: 7 tips for travelling in the coronavirus period

Following a phase of massive restrictions, Swiss public life is picking up speed again. More people are on the move again—on trains too. If you take these 7 tips to heart, you will still be able to travel easily and, most importantly, safely.

Cleanliness is essential 

SBB is doing everything it can to protect the health of its employees and customers. Therefore cleaning staff are currently being deployed more frequently than usual. SBB is making a point of cleaning more frequently and intensively all those areas with which passengers could come into direct contact. This includes door buttons, handles and handrails, as well as benches, information points and ticket machines. In addition, SBB has provided hand-sanitiser dispensers at larger stations. Several times a day, contact and surfaces such as handrails, buttons, tables, armrests and toilets on trains are also cleaned and disinfected. On lines where demand is particularly high, additional en-route cleaning is carried out.

SBB is also dependent on the help of passengers. If you take these seven tips to heart, you will still be able to travel easily and, most importantly, safely. 

Tip 1: Keep washing your hands

The FOPH hygiene regulations provide specifications regarding how to behave in the coronavirus period. A key point is hand hygiene: washing your hand regularly and thoroughly protects against infection. On trains, you can wash your hands in the toilets. At Basel SBB, Bellinzona, Bern, Genève, Lausanne, Locarno, Luzern and Zürich HB stations, the toilet facilities, which normally have to be paid for, are now available free of charge. In addition, hand-sanitiser dispensers have been installed at the entrances of larger stations and in SBB Travel Centres. 

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Tip 2: Keep your distance—everywhere and at all times 

Social distancing requires a high level of awareness. Stations and trains are places where people encounter one another. In this coronavirus period, it is important to pay more attention than usual to other passengers and passers-by. Specifically: on platforms, at counters, at ticket machines, when boarding and alighting and, if possible, whilst on board too, make sure you maintain a distance of two metres from others as well as you possibly can. This requires tact on the part of all passengers and SBB employees. 

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Tip 3: Avoid travelling at peak times 

It is recommended that you avoid using public transport during peak times whenever possible, i.e. during the usual morning and evening rush hours. How about working from home for part of the day? In the morning, why not check your e-mails at home with a cup of coffee, and then make the trip to the office afterwards? This way, commuters are more likely to find solitary seats, enabling social distancing. 

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Tip 4: Wear a protective mask on crowded trains 

If you do have to travel on a busy train, it may not be possible to maintain the recommended distance. In such cases, SBB strongly recommends wearing a protective mask. This recommendation is part of the protection plan for public transport. These instructions show how protective masks are worn correctly. Hygiene masks can be bought in various station shops, for example in kiosks, pharmacies, supermarkets or convenience stores. In addition, Selecta vending machines at the stations are equipped with hygiene masks. All relevant information about the stations can be found here


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Tip 5: Use online services 

Ticket counters, which have been partly closed, will now be opened again. Nevertheless, it is safer and above all more hygienic to buy train tickets online at home or via the SBB Mobile app on your smartphone. If purchasing a ticket at the counter, contactless payment is preferable. 

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Tip 6: Do not use the station as a place to meet 

Stations are lively. They enrich cities, and are an exciting place in which to spend time. At the moment, however, the same rule as elsewhere also applies in railway stations: keep your distance. As only a limited number of people can use the station shops at a time, queuing areas have been set up outside the entrances. Waiting rooms will remain closed until further notice. Lifts may only be used by one person at a time.

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Tip 7: Be understanding 

This tip applies not only when travelling by public transport, but in general too: the FOPH’s hygiene rules and the protection measures for public transport are not some arbitrary form of harassment. They are necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus. With this awareness, the various restrictions become much easier to cope with. 

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Further information 

Would you like more information on the topic of public transport and the coronavirus? Here, you will find answers to various questions concerning ticket refunds and the reinstatement of normal operations.