Government rules out PPE for transport workers


The Government's action plan for the supply and delivery of PPE does not allocate any to transport workers, despite at least 14 deaths in the capital alone from COVID-19 so far.

The action plan states: 'WHO (World Health Organisation) and UK guidance follows the science and is not advising the use of masks in public places and for those working in supermarkets, waste collection, schools, transport and similar settings.'


Outside of the NHS and social care, the UK Government and devolved administrations published guidance for those cleaning non-health care settings, those working in the management and care of deceased, and prisons and other prescribed places of detention and first responders.

'Currently, these are the only sectors outside of health and social care which that we believe have a clinical need for PPE.'

The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) union said members who were not given the necessary protection measures must refuse to work.

General secretary Mick Cash said RMT had advised members in rail and bus sectors across the country to 'stop work on safety grounds if employers do not provide protection from Covid-19'.

'That means that if they are not provided with PPE, including masks, eye defenders and gloves where necessary, they should not be working.'

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has revealed that at least 14 transport workers have died from the disease since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Khan and Transport for London (TfL) have been criticised by unions for not providing enough protection for transport workers. However the mayor said he is following government advice and TfL has taken a range of actions to stop the spread of the disease.

All drivers on London Buses are shielded from public interaction by a clear protective screen. Enhancements have been made on the majority of buses to ensure this screen provides even higher levels of protection. A plastic film is used to cover holes in the screen.

Extensive daily cleaning takes place across London's network, ensuring that ‘touch points’ on buses (including steering wheel, poles, doors and handles) are treated with antiviral cleaner (as used elsewhere in TfL) every night after the regular cleaning is completed. Bus garages and rest rooms are similarly treated daily.

TfL has also asked customers to not sit in seats nearest to bus drivers and signs are now out on the network and on some buses it has trialled only allowing passengers in through the back door to avoid contact.

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