The city bikes are one of the city of Helsinki's measures for preventing the coronavirus from spreading. At the request of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the city bike season 2020 has now been opened more than a week earlier than usual. The aim is to reduce the number of social contacts that cause an infection. However, hand hygiene is of utmost importance when using a city bike.
The coronavirus is mainly spreading as droplet infections from people nearby. It may also spread further through particles in indoor air. Social distancing and avoiding crowded spaces is advised. If you have to move, then cycling is now one of the best ways to travel according to THL. On a city bike, you are in an open outside space and able to keep an appropriate safety distance to other people.
However, it is very important to mind the hand hygiene when using a city bike, just like when you touch any surface in public spaces. During a regular summer day, approximately 20,000 persons touch the bike handlebar and panel buttons. Even though there are now considerably less users, it is not possible to disinfect the surfaces after each customer and you must mind the cleanliness as you do, for example, when touching elevator buttons or door handles.
The operator of the city bike service works to ensure the cleanliness of its employees by means of protection and avoiding contacts.
The importance of hand hygiene has been highlighted in a letter to the customers and on the registration website, there will also be signboards with information put up at the bike stations over the next few days.