As of 27 April, wearing protective masks or face covers is mandatory on public transport, in shops, markets, shopping centers and taxis. During the pandemic, residents can help each other by protecting themselves and others from infection. The Mayor’s Office and BKK Budapest transport company are handing out textile facemasks (which can be washed and ironed) at the most crowded intersections in order to enhance passenger safety.
Covering the face (either with a mask or a scarf) on public transport is mandatory from the 27th of April – announced mayor Gergely Karácsony. Such responsible behavior is the only way to protect ourselves and other passengers from infection, bearing in mind that we or others may be asymptomatic carriers. Our best defense in this case is to cover our face. Masks can be procured at numerous places in Budapest (pharmacies, drugstores or online). In case you don’t have one, a scarf may provide similar protection. This rule is in everyone’s interest, therefore FUTÁR monitors, loudspeakers and brochures will be modified and handed out to draw attention to it.
How to use a mask properly?
If you wear a mask, you should be informed about its usage, how to take it on and off properly and how to sanitize it.
- Before you put it on, wash your hands with warm water and soap or sanitize it with hand sanitizer. The mask should always cover your mouth and nose. If there is adjustable nose strap on it, you should adjust it to the root of your nose. The mask should perfectly adjust to your skin, gaps should not occur between the mask and your skin.
- You should avoid touching the surface of the mask while wearing it, if you do so, please wash your hands afterwards. If it gets wet, change it as soon as possible.
- When you take off the mask, it should always happen from the back. The elastic cord should be lifted behind your ears or the tied knot should be unraveled at the back of the neck. The upper surface of the mask should be considered as infected, do not touch it.
- Disposable masks should not be reused, and it should be thrown to a locked trash bin. If you use handmade masks or masks made of a certain texture, put it into slightly chloric water or sanitize it for 10 minutes, wash it at high temperature (60-90 degrees), dry and iron it.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap or use hand sanitizer after taking off the mask.
(Source: Hungarian Medical Association. Further information about proper mask wear at their website: mok.hu/koronavirus/allasfoglalasok/tegyunk-valamit-a-szank-es-az-orrunk-ele.)
Since the beginning of the pandemic, vehicles are being disinfected as often as possible in Budapest, including buttons and handrails, seats, windows and drivers’ seats. This combined with the mandatory face cover guarantees that public transport remains a safe option for travel. For those who want to be extra cautious, BKK recommends the use of hand sanitizers and gloves.
BKK asks for the cooperation of passengers, because complying with the rule of wearing masks or scarfs is in everyone’s best interest. Social distancing remains crucial. For the duration of the final Matura exams starting in May, BKK will reintroduce the general school day timetable.
Further reading on ethical usage of public transport is at BKK’s website.