New study finds no trace of Covid in four major UK railway stations after months of tests

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Swab tests were conducted at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly stations in the last few months. Samples were taken from places that passengers would touch regularly. These included railings, escalator handles, ticket machines and benches.

In all samples sent to laboratories for testing, no trace of coronavirus could be found.

The sample collection also included checking the air in interior station areas, and again no airborne traces were detected.

The first round of sampling was conducted in January and the second in June of this year.

All samples were then studied by scientists at the Imperial College London.

The examination by Imperial College laboratories found that there was no contamination from coronavirus on any surface and there were also no airborne particles.

David Green, a senior research fellow at Imperial College London, said: “In the same way that a swab is used to take a Covid-19 test in the nose and throat and sent to the lab, we use a filter to collect any virus particles in the air and swabs to collect viruses on surfaces.

“This approach provides a way of quantifying the amount of virus circulating in these public environments and the effect of mitigation strategies like cleaning and wearing face coverings.

“This is part of a wider programme of work with the public transport sector to understand where this virus is most prevalent so that we can return to pre-pandemic activities as safely as possible.”

Referring to the coronavirus cleaning procedures for public transport Rob Mole, a senior programme manager for Network Rail’s response to the pandemic, said: “Station-cleaning teams and train staff have made it their mission to keep passengers safe during the pandemic and this is proof their dedicated approach works.

“We want all passengers to travel in confidence on the railway network and we will keep doing our part by rigorously cleaning trains and stations.

“We ask passengers to do their bit, too, by wearing face-coverings while travelling, out of respect for others, so we can all stop the spread of Covid-19.”

Official figures from the Department for Transport have revealed that there is a steady rise in the use of public transport across the UK, with some train services reaching pre-pandemic levels.

Although no longer enforced, a recent YouGov poll revealed that the majority of the British public, 71 percent, want face coverings to remain on public transport.

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