Home Kent News My comfortable journey on a Southeastern train as people ditched their masks

My comfortable journey on a Southeastern train as people ditched their masks

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Original article from Kent Live

The so-called 'Freedom' Day' is now upon us and with it comes the easing of restrictions with regards to social distancing and mask wearing.

However, the rising number of cases in the county has made a fair amount of people wary of a return to normal.

Southeastern still recommends passengers should wear face masks in busy carriages, so we wanted to find out if people were following their advice.

I took a trip on one of their services – from Rochester to Gillingham and back – to find out what it was like.

Read More: Camber Sands: My nightmare journey to the beach on the Kent border in 30C heat

The station and platforms

The Southeastern train on the platform

In the station itself all members of staff were still wearing masks, but barely anyone else was and this continued onto the platforms.

However, with the platforms being open air, the worry about contracting COVID was less as there were very few people around.

The journey onboard the train could be a different story.

Onboard the train

On the way to Gillingham there wasn't really much to report.

It was a very empty train, no doubt because it was travelling away from London at an off-peak time of day, so social distancing was incredibly easy to maintain.

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I wore my mask to exercise a bit of caution but overall I never felt worried about my health.

I was concerned that people might not be wearing masks as recommended, but there were no issues with that on the way to Gillingham.

Back to Rochester

Slightly more people than not were wearing face masks onboard the train

I had it in my mind that the journey back to Rochester might be a different scenario as I thought there would be more people on a train making its way to London Victoria.

On the platform itself it was pretty much the same as Rochester, with nobody apart from staff wearing masks, but again it wasn't an issue in the open air.

I was surprised to find only a few more people onboard this train compared to the last.

In my carriage social distancing was carried out quite effectively, with lots of space between passengers.

And the majority of people were sporting a face covering – with only a few exceptions.

The mask wear rate was at a reasonable level

Even then, one of the gentlemen not doing so was eating his lunch, so he may well have been ready to stick one on once he was finished.

We rolled into Rochester and I had not felt one ounce of worry, especially in comparison to when I visited London a couple of weekends ago on an exceptionally packed service.

Overall verdict

If you're travelling on a short local service like I did you are unlikely to run into many problems, so if you are being cautious as rules start to be relaxed then you don't have much to worry about.

But there were still people not wearing masks and on more-packed services at peak times, I might feel differently.

How has your experience on public transport been? Let us know in the comments below.

Original Article