A new study by researchers at Southampton University has examined the risks of catching Covid-19 in a train carrying an infected person.
The study which is based on data from China, found that depending on the distance seated from the infected passenger, the risk of catching the virus is between zero and 10 percent (10.3).
The average rate of transmission for travellers was 0.32 percent.
Train passengers sitting more than three rows (widthwise) and five columns (lengthwise) away from an infected person would have close to no risk of catching Covid-19 from an infected traveller.
However, if seated closer, the risk goes up all the way to 10,3%.
If someone sits where the infected passenger previously sat, the risk of infection is almost negligible, 0,075%.
“Our study shows that although there is an increased risk of transmission of Covid-19 on trains, the location regarding an infectious person and the length of the journey can make big differences to the disease’s transmission,” Dr. Shengjie Lai, lead author of the study says.
One of the important conclusions of the study emphasizes the fact that on journeys longer than two hours, the safe distance of 2,5 meters isn’t enough to fully prevent transmission.
“It shows that the risk of transmission is not only about distances but also about the time spent in the presence of an infectious passenger. We hope this can help to inform authorities around the world about the measures needed to protect everyone against the virus and help reduce its spread,” Dr Lai adds.