Transport for New South Wales (NSW) has announced that key health precincts across Greater Sydney will soon have automated pedestrian signal crossings that will operate continuously.

The automation of pedestrian signals at major traffic intersections will be carried out through a gradual roll out.

This will automatically activate the pedestrian signal crossings and help people to avoid pushing the ‘call’ button, maintaining road safety measures and allowing safe access of health services in Sydney.

The initiative comes as a preventive measure to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in areas where pedestrian activity is high.

The first stage has begun in Randwick at the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital.

The targeted health precincts that will see the gradual roll out of automated pedestrian signal include Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital.

Liverpool Hospital in Liverpool, Nepean Hospital in Kingswood, St George Hospital NSW in Kogarah, Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards and Blacktown Hospital in Blacktown are the other precincts.

The key precincts have been identified by the Transport for NSW in coordination with NSW Health and the NSW Centre for Road Safety.

The initiative has been taken to protect frontline staff and those who are most vulnerable.

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said: “We’re introducing this initiative to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the community, especially for essential hospital staff, patients, and members of the community visiting the hospital.

“People should continue to wash their hands regularly, sneeze and cough into their elbows or clean tissues that are then discarded and always practice social distancing.”