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passivity when not wearing a mask

New Author

Yesterday (09.07.2020) in the 6:02 train Bern-Zürich one person refused to wear a mask. This person got in the train in Olten. She sat in front of me, in a row of individual seats in a 2nd class coach, not keeping the 1.5 m distance. I asked her politely to wear a mask. She just replied 'no'. I asked her to find another seat where she could keep the 1.5 m distance with other passenger. She replied 'no' again. I found a SBB staff and told her the situation. She came and asked this passenger why she was not wearing a mask. She replied that she forgot to get one mask. The SBB staff reminder where to buy a mask at the station, but she did not take further actions. She said that she can do nothing, because she is not the Police. Another passenger kindly gave her a mask, that she accepted to wear. After the SBB staff left, the passenger sitting in front of me asked me whether I was Swiss started and started insulting me. I did not reply to her verbal aggression, but I felt very intimidated. I do not know what is the point of asking passengers to wear a mask if there is no consequences if they do not do it, and they can become aggressive with other passengers if they are asked to do it. I am astonished by the passivity of the SBB staff in this regards.


Hello @IvanH 

Thank you for your query.


In public transport everyone must wear a mask. Everyone is personally responsible for it. Children under the age of twelve and persons who cannot wear a mask for special reasons, especially medical reasons, are exempt from the mask requirement. No mask checks will be made. Any fines are distributed only by the cantonal, city or municipal police. I am sorry for the situation you have experienced. Since I was not on site I cannot judge this. If you feel harassed / threatened, please contact the transport police: 0800 117 117.

I wish you a nice day.

Kind regards, AferditaS


Perhaps SBB should add functionality to the app to report disruptive, non-cooperative, and mask-refusers. If SBB police or authorities are nearby they can jump on the bus or train and deal with the situation. Or call the driver / conductor. The is a young man on my bus every day who never where’s a mask and nobody says anything and the driver ignores him. (Bus 107 departing Bern hbf at 17:19 if interested).