Many businesses were required by law under the COVID-19 public health measures to close their end of trip facilities across NSW, especially in multi-story buildings. This has left many people who commute by active transport, stranded.
End of Trip Facilities Closed
Building and strata managers were required to close their end of trip facilities. This was to prevent the spread of the virus. Handles, taps and soap dispensers are shared in these facilities, and it can be an easy way for COVID-19 to transmit between people.
Ventilation within these spaces is vitally important as COVID-19 can be spread from person to person through airborne droplets or aerosols containing the virus. According to NSW Health, these aerosols can build up within a space without proper ventilation and can act as a viral vector for COVID-19.
End of trip facilities are often small, enclosed spaces used by many people, located in basements or enclosed areas without fresh air circulation. Even a simple sneeze from a person with COVID-19, in end of trip facilities without proper ventilation, can spread the virus within the room, or the building, and damp air from showers can enable virus droplets to survive for longer.
Additionally, these facilities normally have a high turnover rate in a short period and it doesn’t allow for enough time to appropriately clean and disinfect the rooms.
Advice For End of Trip Facilities
If businesses can provide appropriate cleaning, disinfecting, space and ventilation to keep people safe, we encourage them to open. We also recognise legislation and risk assessments may prevent some from doing so.
SafeWork Australia has created a set of guidelines for end trip facilities for businesses and building managers here that may help. It outlines the level of cleaning and disinfecting needed to help keep people safe within these environments, and ways to maintain ventilation systems. Along with how to handle shared facilities/spaces such as lockers, toiletries, hair dryers, towels, waste bins etc. SafeWork NSW also has updated advice for NSW based businesses.
In accordance with NSW Health, each person at the end of trip facility should be provided 4 square metres of space. This might require limits on the numbers of people allowed to use facilities, and it may prevent others from opening. Signs should be displayed with the maximum number of people allowed in each area of the end of trip facilities.
Everyone within the facility should practice physical distancing and if they show any symptoms of COVID-19, they should get tested and isolate.
“COVID-19 continues to change the way we need to do things to ensure everyone remains safe. At times this can be difficult but together we can help stop the spread,” said Kim Lavender, Bicycle NSW Communications Manager.
We encourage riders to talk to their facilities or building manager to discuss end of trip facilities, ways to make them safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, or local alternatives.