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Corona pandemic - how great is the risk of infection in buses and trains?

Relatively few infections among employees with customer contact

The good news first: The risk of infection in public transport is basically no greater than anywhere else. The vast majority of experts consider the risk of infection in buses and trains to be rather low. But they cannot say exactly why that is the case - there are only hints. In September, for example, 1,000 employees in long-distance rail transport were tested for a study by the Deutsche Bahn and Charité - none of whom had anything to do with customers was positive.

In the case of antibody tests - it deals with infections that have gone through - the value for employees without customer contact was even significantly higher than for accompanying conductors. And: The study relates to long-distance trains, where people are much longer in one room than in local transport. There, all the doors at the bus stops are usually opened for ventilation.

The risk of infection in public transport is probably no greater than in other places

A survey by the Association of German Transport Companies comes to a similar result: As of October, there were 233 infections among around 80,000 employees. In percent: 0.29. In comparison, the infection rate for the general population was 0.54, which is higher. In North Rhine-Westphalia, a survey among health authorities showed that the risk of infection should not be greater than in other places.

To find out more, the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg have just started a study together with others at the Rhein-Main transport association. Because: Public transport is anonymous; who is actually infected cannot normally prove that he got Corona there. The physicist Viola Priesemann from the Max Planck Institute says:

Therefore, FFP2 masks are certainly a better idea than the normal surgical masks. They also protect you when you get too close when getting on and off and also against those who still think they don't have to wear a mask on buses and trains.