In a study by Imperial College London, places that passengers regularly touch in stations, such as escalator handles, ticket machines and benches, were cleaned, while samples of one hour air was taken.
Two rounds of tests were carried out at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly station, in January and June, while the tests were repeated on trains running between stations.
Examination of the results by the university did not reveal any contamination with Covid-19 of any surface or any particles of the virus suspended in the air.
Former Minister of Railways Theresa Villiers said: “This is encouraging news for commuters as the return to office begins. This could be another sign that everyday activities like mass train travel can safely begin to return to normal. “
Ms Villiers added that she hoped “this study will give people more confidence to use public transport again”.
Rob Mole, Senior Program Officer for Network Rail’s Pandemic Response, said: “Station cleaning crews and train staff have made it their mission to protect passengers during the pandemic and this is proof. that their dedicated approach works.
“We want all passengers to travel with confidence on the rail network and we will continue to do our part by thoroughly cleaning trains and stations.
“We ask passengers to do their part as well by wearing face coverings when traveling out of respect for others so that we can all stop the spread of Covid-19. “
The government dropped the legal requirement for people to wear face coverings in environments such as public transport on July 19. He has been criticized for the move, although the Vaccine Minister said masks would still be “expected” on crowded trains and Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said anyone who does not wear a mask in an enclosed space was “just irresponsible”.
David Green, Principal Investigator at Imperial College London, said: “In the same way that a swab is used to perform a Covid-19 test in the nose and throat and sent to the lab, we use a filter to collect all viral particles. in the air and swabs to collect viruses on surfaces.
“This approach provides a way to quantify the amount of virus circulating in these public environments and the effect of mitigation strategies such as cleaning and wearing face coverings.
“This is part of a larger program of work with the public transport industry to understand where this virus is most prevalent so that we can resume pre-pandemic activities in the safest way possible. ”