VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail service, announced yesterday that it is enforcing special health and safety measures to deal with COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, outbreak.
According to a press release, VIA Rail said that they have increased daily cleanings and disinfections of their stations, with special attention towards surfaces such as door handles, handrails, elevators, and washrooms.
They said that masks and hand sanitizer are being given out on board trains and at stations.
”The health and safety measures of our passengers and employees is our top priority and we are focusing our efforts accordingly,” Cynthia Garneau the president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
“At this point, all hands are on deck. All employees, whether in train stations, on board, in maintenance or call centres, are trained and informed on what they have to do to for safety and prevention.”
At VIA Rail, the health and safety of our passengers and employees are, as always, our top priorities. We are continuing to closely monitor the development of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) with federal health authorities. Please visit: https://t.co/9pj37gcz95
— VIA_Rail (@VIA_Rail) March 12, 2020
VIA Rail is also offering passengers the ability to cancel or change their reservations any time prior to departure during the months of March and April, and receive a full refund.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has said on their website that the public health risk for Canadians is low, but the situation could change rapidly.
In Canada, there are almost 180 confirmed and presumptive cases as of Friday. The Canadian federal government has advised Canadians to avoid any international travel. Trudeau also said that he is considering closing the border.
As of Friday morning, the World Health Organization said there are more than 132,000 cases of coronavirus, with 5,000 deaths in 123 countries and territories. The WHO officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday.