NEWS.CATEGORY: Health and safety

Eurostar incident highlights 'absolutely vital' visors in Covid-19 fight

The word "coronavirus" with a picture of an animated man on the side.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the "absolutely vital" implementation of visors for all staff on Britain' railways following an incident at Eurostar on Tuesday. A customer travelling from London to Brussels was given a police caution after being challenged for not wearing a face mask.

Face masks are compulsory on public transport and many outside spaces in Belgium. The staff member challenged the individual who was not wearing a mask whilst on the train. The man then became aggressive and, on arrival in Brussels, Border Police cautioned the passenger.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: 

"There can be no compromise when it comes to our members’ safety and that of passengers. We made it clear that on board crew at Eurostar must wear visors and were pleased when this was adopted by the company.

"However, this incident again shows the dangers of not having protection from Coronavirus and that visors are absolutely vital. We have already seen one of our members, Belly Mujinga, tragically die in the course of her work after a man spat at her on the concourse at Victoria Station.

"Eurostar passengers going to Belgium know they must wear masks and anyone not doing so should rightly be challenged. Our member did the right thing, but we now need to see visors being worn by staff right across our rail network.

"The policy at Eurostar stands in stark contrast to that at GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) where nothing more than a trial is taking place. Frankly, a public health emergency is no time for trial and error.

"The use of visors should be implemented now at all companies to prevent any further spread of this deadly virus and to protect front line transport workers who are doing so much to keep vital services moving."