To be on the safe side, inspect the vehicle before riding. Does it have a bigger space? Is the air circulating well? If not, you might want to consider taking another mode of transport.
Practice Physical Distancing
Practicing physical distancing may be difficult given the transport systems that we have, especially in Metro Manila. Still, it’s a very important step to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus on public transportation.
The recommended distance you should maintain is 6 feet or 2 meters. Remember that physical distancing is imperative at all times, and not just inside the vehicle.
Furthermore, you can also practice the additional measures below:
- Skip seats. Jeepneys and buses have most likely marked the appropriate seats to ensure physical distancing. If the vehicle is not yet in its full capacity, try moving farther away from the occupied seat. For example, if the marks ask you to skip one seat, try skipping 2 or 3 seats. The added distance will only last until the vehicle is close to or at full capacity, but it’ll still help.
- Be on the lookout for signs. Since distancing is a vital step to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on public transportation, transport companies and terminals would have come up with their own policies. To avoid conflict and save time, be sure to check on those policies by looking around you or listening to the authorities.
- Actively avoid people. You can do this by moving away from crowded groups while waiting for your ride. Additionally, follow the entry and exit points so as not to “collide” with people who are going in the opposite direction.
Avoid Touching Surfaces and Other Objects Unnecessarily
You can get the coronavirus on public transportation by touching surfaces like handrails and ticketing machines.
While it’s almost impossible to not touch anything while you are commuting, try to limit it to the bare minimum.
Finally, don’t forget to disinfect your hands right after contact with all surfaces.
Practice Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
No matter where you are, you must always practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If that’s not possible, use sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol in them.
To avoid contracting the coronavirus on public transportation, don’t forget the basics of respiratory etiquette as well. This includes covering your nose and mouth with disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze.
On Handling Cash
Although cashless payment is growing in popularity, bills and coins are still widely used. For instance, traditional transport vehicles like jeeps, buses, and tricycles don’t have cashless options.
To prevent unnecessary contact with cash, always prepare the exact amount needed for your fare.
If you handled cash, sanitize your hands immediately.
Key Reminder – Don’t Touch Your Face
While you may get the virus on public transportation through physical contact, you won’t get infected automatically.
Experts say that having the virus on your hands is not the problem – it’s taking the virus to your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
For this reason, watch your face. Don’t touch your nose, mouth, or eyes without properly disinfecting your hands first.
Following these steps will help lessen the risk of spreading and contracting the coronavirus on public transportation.
The core steps are still the basics – physical distancing, wearing of face protection (masks and shields), and frequent hand washing.
Learn more about COVID-19 here.