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Southeastern confirms results of coronavirus swab tests at Kent railway stations

Southeastern has revealed the results of swab tests carried out at several major railway stations across Kent.

Tests were conducted at Ashford International, Chatham, Lewisham, Sevenoaks and Strood on ‘high touch areas’ of the station.


The samples were then sent to a laboratory, with results reportedly indicating no traces of coronavirus were present.

Southeastern is now aiming to carry out these tests out across all of their stations in a bid to reassure passengers their commute is safe.

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Alicia Andrews, Communications Director at Southeastern, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming more and more people back to the railway and we hope that these results are reassuring to our passengers.

“We have also conducted tests at another five stations recently including Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Dartford and are awaiting these results.

“This is above and beyond the work that goes on to clean the trains that we do every day of the week, 365 days a year.

“The message I would put out to apprehensive commuters would be to dip their toes in the water.

“They should go down to their local station and take a look at the measures that we are taking to keep people safe.”

Southeastern says they are using a new cleaning product, called Zoono, which can give 30 days of protection against the virus.

“Zoono repels the virus and sticks to the surface like a glue. It is above and beyond the protection that we find in our everyday lives, and that should reassure passengers”, Ms Andrews added.

“We are increasing the cleaning and encouraging people through signage to respect social distancing. We are also providing information about when trains are likely to be at their busiest and encouraging passengers, if they possibly can, to travel on less busy services.

“We have also lengthened trains to make them as long as they possibly can be, so that people have the best possible opportunity to maintain their social distance.”

Should traces of coronavirus be detected on-board a train, Southeastern says they have contingency plans in place.

Ms Andrews said: “As soon as we are alerted to treat a train that has possibly come into contact with COVID-19, that train completely comes out of our service at the next available opportunity.

“It is subjected to a deep clean, and is only brought back into service once the deep clean has finished.

David Wornham, Passenger Services Director for Southeastern, added: “We are doing everything we can to help our passengers feel safe and supported when returning to travelling by train on our network, and we’re really pleased with the results of our cleaning testing so far.

“During August, passengers will see a visible increase in cleaning staff across the network.

“We recommend that in addition to wearing face coverings and carrying hand sanitiser, passengers think about planning their journey ahead, travelling at quieter times to help maintain social distancing and registering for one of our contactless tickets by visiting the Southeastern website.”




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