The Polish railway system is ready to face a potential threat of coronavirus


In the headquarters of the Office of Rail Transport (Pol. Urząd Transportu Kolejowego, UTK) in Warsaw a meeting on the coordination of activities, connected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus threat, was held. The discussion was aimed at presentation of procedures introduced in Poland, but also in neighbouring countries. An important element of the meeting was the discussion on the reaction to emerging threats and revision of existing procedures.

Almost 60 persons took part in the meeting - representatives from Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia. Representatives of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (Pol. Główny Inspektorat Sanitarny, GIS), Ministry of Infrastructure, Government Security Centre, Border Guard as well as railway carriers, infrastructure and station managers were also present. Some of the participants took part in the meeting by electronic means.

- Railway carriers and station managers have prepared relevant procedures and the situation regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus threat is constantly monitored - assured Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of UTK. - We have acted proactively so that the dangers can be avoided - he added.

The President of UTK has also presented the procedures in effect within the Polish railway system as well as additional measures introduced as recommended by the Chief Sanitary Inspector. They include actions to be taken such as: which emergency services to inform, how to arrange the stopping station for a train so that an ambulance can reach it without a problem, what kind of activities to undertake before and after the arrival of the emergency response team.

Inspections carried out by the UTK inspectors have confirmed that the train crews of international and so-called "airport" trains, employees at ticket windows and railway station security personnel possess relevant knowledge of the procedures to be put in effect should a possible case of coronavirus be uncovered. Train crews on international trains have been equipped with protective gloves and masks, so that these can be handed over to persons suspected of being infected with coronavirus. In the course of almost 80 inspection activities the accessibility to information on board of trains and in train stations regarding the GIS guidelines were checked, especially intended to reach those passengers who were arriving at their destinations from regions threatened with COVID-19.

In case when coronavirus is uncovered on board of a train the train crew should be informed immediately, which is further obliged to provide help and notify relevant emergency services.

Passengers, who wish to file a complaint with UTK regarding the functioning of the Polish railway system, should do so using these channels.

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