How Risky Is It To Use Public Transportation During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Can we safely move through airports and subways in corona times?

The coronavirus is spreading at a really alarming rate. There is no sign that this will stop, even if in many Asian countries the spread did slow down. Due to the current pandemic, many governments started to restrict travel. This is a normal way to tackle a pandemic but few people understand why this is the case. In order to highlight the reasons, we should talk about how risky it is to use public transportation in the current coronavirus setting.

Busses And Trains

The most common way for the virus to spread is when a person that is infected is coughing. This is when small droplets that are packed with virus content reach the air. People around the infected person breathe these in or infections happen as someone touches surfaces that the droplets landed on. Then, when the face is touched without washing one’s hand, infection appears.

The official government advice is to stay away from people, at a distance of at least 2 meters. This is why using trains and busses is very tricky. If these public transportation methods are crowded, it is practically impossible to maintain this distance.

When you travel on a bus or train that is quite empty, risks are much lower. However, factors like ventilation and the time spent on the train/bus do play an extra role. Train operating companies now run reduced services. These are offered for those that need to travel. Surfaces are more often cleaned and carriages are often checked.

Major bus operators also respond by cutting back service frequency. Better cleaning is also implemented and only those that need to travel by bus should actually use it. In London alone, over 40 tube stations were closed. This will keep growing if the pandemic continues.

Generally speaking, whenever possible, do all you can to avoid the peak transportation hours if you absolutely need to take the bus or the train.


With air travel, the biggest concern when the outbreak first appeared is that it can transport infected people from one country to another. As a result, most airlines actually suspended, rescheduled or consolidated flights. There are even airports that were shut.

Flightright, a company responsible for gaining flight cancellation compensation in value of over 300 million EUROs till now, has carefully monitored the situation. While cancelled flight compensation keeps growing due to the fact that air travel is delayed or cancelled, what is very important is to focus on health. Remember that flight cancellations only affect your wallet and there are firms like Flightright that help. Dealing with the coronavirus is much more difficult.

Recently, we saw the UK government advising people to always avoid non-essential travel to another country. Residents were also encouraged to get back to the country as soon as it is possible.

In the event that you absolutely need to fly, there is this belief that there is a very high possibility to be infected since you breathe “stale” air. In reality, the air that is present on a plane is of a higher quality than what you find in the average business office. It is definitely a whole lot better than on a bus or on a train.

The big problem with air travel is that there are more people standing in a smaller square feet area. This is especially the case when planes are busy. This fact increases the risk. However, the air is changed faster. This means that you are much more likely to avoid being infected if you just avoid contact with other passengers. Although it might seem illogical to some, plane travel is safer than regular public transportation methods.

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