To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Mr. Mayor Gergely Karácsony has ordered that either a mask or a kerchief or a scarf covering the mouth and nose be worn onboard Budapest’s public transport vehicles from 27 April 2020. To comply with this measure and to protect every single passenger using BKK’s public transport services, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport along with the Municipality of Budapest will distribute washable and ironable textile masks in the coming days to passengers using Budapest’s public transport services.
Before and after the new measure is put into effect, a total number of 60 thousand healthcare masks will be given free-of-charge by BKK’s employees between 7:00 and 9:00 AM several times a week at ten busy transport hubs in Budapest. Even the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid joins this initiative, in the framework of which, in the first round 5 thousand, then further 25 thousand masks will be distributed free-of-charge to Budapest’s public transport users.
Masks will be given on the spot in the coming days, at the following locations:
- Batthyány tér M – metro entry point
- Deák Ferenc tér M – metro entry point of metroline M3
- Kelenföld vasútállomás M – on the Őrmező side, ahead of the metro’s escalator
- Keleti pályaudvar (Keleti railway station) platform of busline 7 running to the city centre
- Kőbánya-Kispest M – platform of the replacement bus M3 at the bus terminus
- Nagyvárad tér M – metro entry point
- Nyugati pályaudvar (Nyugati railway station) – the metro entry point on the side of the Grand Boulevard of tramlines 4 and 6.
- Őrs vezér tere M – metro entry point
- Széll Kálmán M – metro entry point
- Újpest Központ M – metro entry point
“The health of Budapest’s public transport users is of paramount importance for BKK, thus we are doing our best also by these initiatives to help that our customers could avoid the infection”, emphasised BKK’s CEO. Dr. Ivett Varga added: “If we pay particular attention to ourselves and to the people around us and we also comply with the measures, we can decrease the risks of the coronavirus infection and public transport services can continue to be a safe alternative option to reach point B from point A in Budapest.”
The display of the FUTAR Journey Planner (the traffic management and passenger information system) at public spaces and audio information and displayed information materials onboard the vehicles warn passengers to comply with the measures, serving the protection of each and every one of us.
Among the surrounding European capitals, measures have already been taken prior to Budapest to wear masks on public transport services to slow down the spread of the coronavirus infection. In Budapest, every surface used by passengers onboard the vehicles are continued to be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis, including the get-off signals, handrails, seats, window openers and the drivers’ booth.
How to properly use masks?
To wear the mask, it is necessary to get information on how to put it on, take it off and also on how to disinfect it.
- Before putting it on, wash your hands using soap and hot water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. While using, the mask must continuously cover mouth and nose. In case the mask has an adjustable nose band, it must be adjusted tightly to the nasal cartilages. The mask must be properly cover the facial skin and there should be no open space between the mask and face.
- While wearing the mask, the mask should not be touched and if, by any chance, you do so, wash or disinfect your hands. In case the mask becomes moist, change it as soon as possible.
- The mask should be removed from the direction of the back of the head. From behind the ear remove the elastic cord or untie the tied cord at the back of the head. Consider the front of the mask dirty and avoid touching it while removing.
- The masks that are intended for one-time use should not be used more than once; instead, they should be thrown out after use to a closed dustbin. In case you use a self-made or some other type of mask, put it into a slightly chlorous or disinfected water, leave it in the water for 10 minutes, wash it in high temperature (60-90 °C), dry it and iron it before reusing it.
- After taking off the mask, wash your hands using hot water and soap or disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
(Source: Hungarian Medical Chamber. Further recommendations for residents made about how to wear a mask is available at the Hungarian Medical Chamber’s website: mok.hu/koronavirus/allasfoglalasok/tegyunk-valamit-a-szank-es-az-orrunk-ele.)
Please find more information on how to use ethically Budapest’s public transport services at BKK’s website.