Frontline transport workers now being tested for coronavirus

Frontline public transport workers in the West Midlands are now being tested for coronavirus.

The group includes bus drivers and train conductors. It's being done ensure the safety of bus, train and Metro staff, as well as key workers - who are still using the network during the lockdown.

It will also make sure services can keep running because staff do not have to isolate at home unnecessarily.

Frontline transport staff who think they may have Covid-19, or that they may have come into contact with someone with symptoms, can be tested, and then either isolated if they are found positive, or return safely to work if found negative.

Testing will now include frontline transport workers in the West Midlands Credit: PA

Transport for West Midlands have arranged for the tests, alongside the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and the Department for Health.

Key workers across the West Midlands are risking their lives day after day to protect us, and we need to do everything we can to keep them safe.

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor

Transport workers provide vital public services, supporting key workers getting to and from work, which is why I’m delighted that the new regional testing centre, on the grounds of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital site, is providing this essential testing.

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

The organisations are also reminding people that they should only be using public transport in the first place if it is absolutely necessary.

The testing of transport workers is currently focussed on people in frontline roles such as drivers and conductors, station staff including cleaners, and security roles and ticket office staff.

TfWM says tests will also be available for engineers and vehicle cleaning staff where possible.

They say those showing symptoms will be tested, and those who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

The tests will take place at three drive-thru locations in the region where NHS staff are already being tested:

  • Edgbaston Cricket Stadium

  • Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick

  • Six Ways Park and Ride at Worcester