bike plan for coronavirus
Denmark has a bike plan for coronavirus

Where else but Denmark would the official advice on slowing the spread of coronavirus emphasise the importance of getting on your bike for the commute to work and education?

Of course they would. The Danes are sane, rational and scientifically minded, and not believed to be hoarding bottles of chain oil.

Cramming people cheek-by-jowl in suburban trains for the morning commute is definitely not a good idea, given what we know of the infection habits of COVID-19.

So the government is urging people to take the bike instead, asking the community to change behaviour so as to hinder coronavirus spread in public transport.

“For a lot of people, public transport is the part of everyday life where you stand or sit close to other people,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said.

“Therefore, in the current situation with coronavirus, we urge commuters to be considerate of each other and especially towards the elderly fellow travellers,” the minister said.

In Australia the official advice from the Commonwealth and State Government does not seem to have extended to cover peak period commuter travel specifically.

Yes, it recommends social distancing, but try that on a crowded peak hour train or tram.

These are the five actions the Danish government recommends:

1. Walk or cycle for shorter trips

If you have a short journey, consider cycling or walking and thereby avoiding public transport.

2. Travel outside peak time

Consider making your journey outside of rush hour, for example by moving your appointment or arriving at work a little sooner or later than normal.

3. Be considerate towards other passengers

Do not cough and sneeze in the direction of other passengers. If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into the bend of your elbow or in a disposable tissue. Be extra careful not to cough or sneeze towards near older passengers.

4. Don't forget to wash your hands

Good and thorough hand hygiene is effective in prevention of coronavirus infection.

5. Do not take public transport if you are ill or think you might be infected

If you feel ill or suspect that you might be infected, be considerate to others by not traveling on public transport at all.

Meanwhile, Copenhagen’s Metro Company is to put more carriages into use as well as increase frequency of trains in order to increase capacity and therefore the space between passengers on board.

The Danish Health Authority has pointed out that so far many of the coronavirus cases in Denmark had affected healthy people who have a good basis for recovery.

And why are Danes so healthy in the first place? Maybe because so many of them ride bikes.

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