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Amended timetable in operation until further notice:
Protect others. If you are travelling with us, avoid peak times. Please use contactless to buy tickets.
Wear a face covering - this is MANDATORY. (Consider others. Hidden disabilities or medical conditions may mean not everyone can).
We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing a face covering and wearing it while in stations and on trains. If someone isn’t wearing a face covering, they will be reminded of the rules and told where they can get one. Only as a last resort will someone be issued with a fixed penalty notice (effectively a “spot fine”).
The regulations will set the level of fines and we expect them to be on a level similar to breaches of other Covid-19 related breaches, but we have no details on this yet.
The regulations are being brought in through the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. They are not being brought in through the National Rail Conditions of Travel or the Railway Byelaws, which remain unchanged.
We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Please also be aware that some passengers may not be able to wear as mask due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, people should keep their distance - at least two metres, if possible.
If a passenger wishes to report someone for not wearing a face covering, they can alert a member of railway staff or a member of the British Transport Police.
No. There is no legal obligation on operators to provide face coverings. We are, however, installing vending machines in many stations to make it easier for people to buy face coverings if they forget to bring one. These are already in place at many of the biggest stations and we are working on getting them installed elsewhere.
The government offers this advice on wearing and making a face covering. At its very simplest, you can wear something that covers your mouth and your nose, and that minimises your ability to touch your face. Remember that face coverings are one more measure to help you keep healthy, along with washing your hands and social distancing.
Yes. For example, the wearing of face coverings is already mandatory on Eurostar trains.
Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.
No. We are doing this to further reduce the risk of infection. Used properly, face coverings can help prevent the spread of the disease. Social distancing and good hand hygiene are still very important.
You can still use public transport. We want people to be able to travel with dignity and our staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability.
People with a disability or illness that means that they cannot wear a face covering can still travel by train. However, we do not have a definitive list of which illnesses or disabilities make a person exempt. We are asking our staff to be considerate when using their discretion and would consider that customers living with conditions such as PTSD, asthma etc. will not be expected to wear a face covering. We are asking customers with a disability or illness who can wear a mask to please do so.
As with all laws, first of all we are going to be relying on people acting responsibly and doing the right thing - helping to protect others by wearing a face covering. If we suspect people are falsely claiming to have an illness so as not to wear a face covering, we reserve the right to refuse to let them travel. The regulations will provide a broad exemption for people who have a reasonable excuse not to wear face coverings, rather than a detailed list of who is exempt. People are expected to behave responsibly.
We do not have the details, but we expect that the appeal process will be similar to other fixed penalty offences. The appeal process will not be the same as for people not having a valid ticket.
Making face coverings compulsory is a sensible step to take as more people start to return to travelling by train and as social distancing at all points of a journey therefore becomes more difficult.
The Government’s instructions state that a face covering is a cloth that should “cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.”
We want people to wear face coverings from when they enter a station all the way through their journey, including exiting the station at the other end. If people are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, they should avoid taking off their face covering while they interchange to avoid touching their face or mouth unnecessarily.
People should wear face coverings on our trains, wherever they are. This is mandatory in England - the advice from governments in Scotland and Wales may be slightly different. The Scottish and Welsh governments are both encouraging the wearing of face coverings while on public transport.
We will work with the government to regularly review the need for face coverings to be mandatory.
At our biggest stations, we are looking at getting transparent face coverings for people in our mobility teams. Elsewhere, a common-sense approach will be taken.
We encourage passengers to use reusable face coverings where possible as these are better for the environment. If you have a disposable face covering then please take it home to dispose of it or put it in the normal bins available on stations at the end of your journey.