In the wake of the new regulations for passengers travelling around the city from 27 April, the Budapest Transport Company (BKK) will be handing out free masks at ten busy hubs around town. Thousands of washable textile masks will be distributed over several days, from 7am-9am.

As recently reported, city mayor Gergely Karácsony has made the wearing of a mask, scarf or face covering compulsory on all public transport vehicles in Budapest from next Monday, 27 April. In order to help people comply with the new decree, over these next few days the Budapest Transport Company (BKK) and the Mayor's Office will be distributing washable textile masks to those travelling in the capital.

Before and after the ruling comes into effect, 60,000 masks will be distributed free of charge by BKK employees at ten busy junctions, from 7am to 9am. The Hungarian Reformed Charity Service is also joining the initiative, first providing 5,000 and then 25,000 more masks. Displays and announcements will inform all passengers as to the new initiative.

Of the nearby capitals, Vienna and Prague have already introduced mask-wearing on public transport to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. Here, all common surfaces on vehicles, buttons, handrails, seats, window openers and the driver's station, are disinfected and cleaned daily.

Here are BKK's guidelines on the use of masks:

Before putting on the mask, wash your hands with warm water and soap or disinfect your hands with an alcoholic hand sanitiser. While wearing it, the mask should constantly cover the mouth and nose. If the mask has an adjustable nose strap, it should fit snugly to the base of the nose. The mask should fit exactly on the skin of the face, there should be no openings between the mask and the face.

Avoid touching the mask while wearing it. If you do touch it, wash your hands or disinfect them. If the mask gets wet from something, replace it as soon as possible.

The mask is removed from behind. Lift the fastening rubber from behind your ear or tie the straps at the neck. Treat the front surface of the mask as dirty and avoid touching it during removal.

Do not use a disposable mask more than once, but throw it in a closed rubbish bin. If you use a homemade or other fabric mask, place it in mildly chlorinated or other disinfected water, soak it for ten minutes, wash it at a high temperature (60-90 degrees), dry it and iron it again before wearing it again.

After removing the mask, wash your hands with warm water and soap or disinfect your hands with an alcoholic hand sanitiser.