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Coronavirus: Plea for only key workers to use buses and trains

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Unions representing public transport workers have pleaded with people not to use buses or trains unless they are key workers after a number of Translink staff fell sick with Covid-19. (PA)

Unions representing public transport workers have pleaded with people not to use buses or trains unless they are key workers after a number of Translink staff fell sick with Covid-19. (PA)

Unions representing public transport workers have pleaded with people not to use buses or trains unless they are key workers after a number of Translink staff fell sick with Covid-19. (PA)

Unions representing public transport workers have pleaded with people not to use buses or trains unless they are key workers after a number of Translink staff fell sick with Covid-19.

Translink have implemented a number of measures to protect their staff - including provision of gloves, hand sanitiser and cashless payment facilities - but despite this some have still been infected by coronavirus.

The chair of Unite's Metro drivers, Michael Dornan, said the public can help protect drivers by not using public transport.

He said: "Every day we go to work hoping that today isn't the day we contract the virus or worse still bring it home to our loved ones, but we have to play our role and help other key and essential workers get to their equally vital jobs.

"We would plead to the public, if you don't need to travel stay at home, allow this service to be exclusively for other key and essential workers."

GMB, another union for Translink workers, echoed that call.

Peter Macklin, GMB organiser for Translink, said: "Our drivers are out risking their health and the health of their families, and we're urging the public not to use public transport unless absolutely necessary.

"Whilst we have negotiated hand sanitiser, protective coverings, cashless transactions alongside other forms of PPE and social distancing, our drivers still face an increased risk of catching Covid-19."

The union representative added: "We need to prioritise NHS workers, care staff and other essential workers during this pandemic and anyone using public transport for a trip that is anything less than utterly necessary is frankly reckless and putting our drivers health at risk in the current climate."

Belfast Telegraph