GTM gains real-time access to the latest Covid-19 travel restrictions

Global Travel Management has announced that it has integrated a global Covid-19 restriction tracker service for use by its travel consultants when clients need to know the latest pandemic information on any country in the world, in preparation for business trips.

GTM travel consultants have real-time access to every country’s travel restrictions, policies and safety measures, updated constantly

GTM is one of the first travel management companies in the world to integrate the Travelport Covid-19 plugin, which provides access to information on government restrictions, lockdowns, and safety measures across the globe.

This means that GTM travel consultants can easily access critical information at the planning stages of any business trip.

Scott Pawley, managing director of GTM explained:

With the Travelport Covid-19 plugin, we can provide reliable, sourced information to clients on the destinations they’re planning to travel to or through, without leaving the workflow. In this way, we’re able to continue providing a top-class service to clients who can confidently make travel choices and book flights.


The plugin is powered by Safeture, the Swedish global employee safety platform provider. You can see the Safeture data, presented as a global map, on the GTM website homepage, here:
https://gtm.uk.com/.

With this plugin, GTM travel consultants can access country-level lockdown indicators, government restrictions and quarantine measures in place.

Contact your GTM Account Manager if you need further information on Covid-19 travel restrictions in any country in the world.

West Indies mean business

Test cricket returns with the first post-pandemic series this month, when England host a three-match series against the West Indies.

The Windies flew to the UK on 9 June, where they are scheduled to play three Tests within what’s being called a “bio-secure bubble”.

West Indies captain, Jason Holder spoke about the flights from the Caribbean to England:

The flight over was quite smooth. We assembled in Antigua, waited in the VIP lounge and then boarded the flight to Manchester.

The whole procedure and protocol has been great. The guys are safe – we were tested prior to coming over to the UK and we’ve been tested on arrival in the UK.

The three Test matches will be played at two grounds, the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and Old Trafford, Manchester. The venues were chosen as they are both Test-standard cricket grounds, but have the added advantage of a world-class hotel and meeting complex attached.

The series starts on 8 July, with the First Test at the Ageas Bowl, where players, umpires, officials and media will be making use of the on-site Hilton hotel.

Hilton at The Ageas Bowl is a stunning 171-bedroom hotel, located at the picture-perfect home of Hampshire Cricket.

The property boasts the luxury eforea spa, the first BEEFY’S by Sir Ian Botham which is a British bar and restaurant, and the Ageas Bowl’s 18-hole golf course, Boundary Lakes.

In addition to the luxury spa and Sir Ian Botham’s flagship restaurant, Hilton at the Ageas Bowl also features extensive meeting and event space.

The second and third Tests take place on 16 July and 24 July at Old Trafford, where facilities include the 150-bed Hilton Garden Hotel.

The Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Emirates Old Trafford is a four-star, 150-bedroom hotel situated within the Old Trafford cricket ground.

Many of the hotel’s rooms have balconies, overlooking the world-famous cricket pitch.

Situated at the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, the modern hotel features a 24-hour front desk, garden market, fitness suite and a lively bar and restaurant. Old Trafford Football Stadium, home of Manchester United, is just half a mile away.

The two teams will be battling for the The Wisden Trophy, currently held by the West Indies. It was first awarded in 1963, when Frank Worrell’s West Indies won a five-match series in England 3-1, thanks to wins at Old Trafford, Headingley and The Oval.

And the teams’ bowlers will be competing for the Malcolm Marshall Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who takes the most wickets in the series. It was first won by Windies’ Courtney Walsh in 2000, but since then the award has gone to an England player in every series, most recently Jimmy Anderson for his 17 wickets the last time the teams met.

Joe Root (left) and Jason Holder (right) go head to head in The Wisden Trophy this month. Root misses the first Test, so Ben Stokes will captain the team.

The England squad for the first Test is Ben Stokes (captain); batsmen Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley; wicket-keeper Jos Buttler; all-rounder Chris Woakes; and bowlers Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood.

The West Indies captain Jason Holder will lead a team chosen from batsmen Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell; wicket-keepers Shane Dowrich and Shai Hope; all-rounders Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, and Raymon Reifer; and bowlers Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach.

Expect the ball to dominate the bat across the three Tests, with matches unlikely to meander to five-day stalemates. England start as favourites, but Jason Holder and his fast bowlers will provide England’s inexperienced batting order a stern examination.

You can follow the series on Sky Sports, on BBC Radio Five Sports Extra, online and, in highlights on BBC television.

Good news

It may be difficult to find, but, if you look hard enough, there are still some items of good news in the business travel industry. So, every week, we curate some of the better “good news” stories. We can’t promise green shoots of economic recovery, but we can promise to highlight some of the better, encouraging and happier pieces of news in business travel. After all, we’re all looking forward to travelling again.

And, if you want to share the good news, please feel free to use the share links at the bottom of the page.

Monday, 6 July

This week, the good news came in threes.

First, the government confirmed that there would be a list of countries that will be exempt from last month’s quarantine requirements, starting this week, on 10 July. Read the story here.

Second, the government produced its list of 59 countries – and it contained some surprises. See the full list here.

Third, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office released updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers. This came into effect at the weekend. You can read about this, here.

Monday, 29 June

This week, there is really only one, big piece of business travel industry news. The government’s lifting of quarantine restrictions for passengers arriving (or returning) from some countries. Click the link below to find out about the government’s intentions, Foreign Office advice changes and the latest information about air bridges. The story is moving forward very quickly, so keep checking back to see regular and ad hoc updates.

Monday, 22 June

A number of airlines announced increased services this week, including:

Manchester Airport introduced pre-booking for security screening and London City Airport re-opened yesterday.

Intercontinental Hotels Group announced the introduction of a new pricing model, Hyatt plans to open a hotel at Gatwick and Ruby confirms plans for a 173-room hotel in Notting Hill.

Monday, 15 June

There was more good news in the last week from the business travel sector, yet again. As the industry prepares for more companies to return to travelling on business, we were able to bring a range of good news items to our Twitter followers.

  • Turkish Airlines launched a discount scheme for health care workers
  • Iberostar plans to re-open several hotels, while OYO and Premier Inns build new ones
  • Japan Airlines and Air Transat re-start international services; Virgin Australia re-starts domestically
  • Austrian Airlines have secured rescue funding, while agreeing environmental commitments
  • You don’t have to wear gloves at Manchester Airport any more…
  • …and you don’t have to keep your distance on Air New Zealand flights
  • And, if you’re worried about losing your tier status on British Airways Executive Club, there’s good news for you, too

Monday, 8 June

In the last week, a number of news items have, again, pointed to recovery in the business travel sector.

But most people’s attention was rightly focused on the 50 Leading TMCs list being revealed by industry publication BTM Europe…

Monday, 1 June

United Airlines is upcycling old staff uniforms into face masks

Hilton is producing 50,000 meals a month for those in need

Iberia will increase flights next month…

…while Lufthansa Group has announced increased long-haul routes

Air New Zealand has opened a number of its lounges as it resumes domestic flights

Monday, 18 May

Lufthansa Group is amongst a raft of airlines announcing schedule increases having publicised 1,800 additional roundtrips per week to its schedules from next month…

…but Delta Air Lines isn’t even waiting that long to restart flights to Heathrow:

Meanwhile, across Europe, steps are being taken to open up borders again:

And Qatar Airways has generously donated 100,000 free tickets to healthcare professionals as a big “thank you”:

Monday, 11 May

In a week where the news mainly concerned messages from Her Majesty the Queen and the Prime Minster as well as celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe, we also found some good news in the business travel sector.

International Airlines Group – the owners of British Airways – has announced it is planning a “meaningful return” to service in July. However, a number of airlines have announced an increase in flights even sooner than that

  • American Airlines will resume some European and South American flights from 4 June.
  • British Airways will return to Beijing Daxing out of Heathrow from 14 June and several other routes during the same month.
  • Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will increase their capacity from 21 June.
  • KLM continues to have longhaul flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Mexico City, Toronto, Curacao, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo Narita, Osaka Kansai, Seoul and Hong Kong; as well as daily flights to Barcelona, Budapest, Helsinki, Madrid, Milan, Prague, Rome and Warsaw.
  • Korean Air intends to resume flights to cities including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Qatar Airways says it will increase flights to 80 cities by the end of June.
  • Forbes has reported that United Airlines plans to “pencil in” four flights to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai from June.
  • While Vietnam Airlines plans to resume all domestic flights in June.

Capturing the mood of a nation that is looking forward to the end of “lockdown”, the Daily Mail reported that one-third of Britons will be travelling more than ever, once the restrictions end.

And while the airlines’ planning continued to gather pace, we at Global Travel Management took some time to commemorate VE Day…

Monday, 4 May

In the last week, Virgin Atlantic have shared some of the great stories of how their staff are helping to repatriate British people from abroad, helping to deliver food, helping staff in NHS hospitals, helping to handle NHS 111 calls and lots more. But they’re not just helping, they’re taking time to say thank you – a big, red thank you – to other people and organisations and the work they are doing.

Elsewhere, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon intend to increase flying capacity towards the end of June.

Business travel is recovering in China. The country’s strategy, which will attempt to restart what was the biggest business travel market in the world, could offer a glimpse of how business travel will recover in the future.

Scott Pawley has posted about the airline industry reaching the bottom of the curve

And these pieces of good news from Asia may reflect some positive changes in airline capacity around the world. Our Managing Director Scott Pawley posted on LinkedIn about a report suggesting the airline world may have reached the bottom of the curve. In short, there has been an increase in flight seat capacity.

It is not only business travel that has seen good news in the last week, because Dubai aims to reopen its tourism by July, according to the Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Wizz Air have recommenced flights from London Luton Airport to airports in Hungary, Israel, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.

And finally, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has released the results of a poll of more than 5,000 of its members which shows signs of optimism and recovery on the horizon. The study found that most companies are planning a recovery for 2020, with one in three planning for a recovery within the next three months.

Monday, 27 April

A British Airways flight from China, loaded with PPE and other essential kit for the NHS.

Last week, British Airways announced an increase in flights to China to London from 13 a week to 21. The flights will be able to carry up to 77 tonnes of cargo for the NHS, including PPE (personal protective equipment) which is of vital importance to health and social care workers.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We are in a unique position to help in the global response to Covid-19, whether it is through carrying UK residents back home, transporting vital cargo back to the NHS, or through our colleagues who are offering their skills to volunteer. We’re proud to be playing our part, and I’m grateful to everyone who is working to make these flights happen in these difficult times.”

The news of BA’s increased China-London flights came the same week that the airline shared details of repatriation flights from India. As our news story shows, the airline has been helping to fly thousands of British citizens home from India. And our tweet, below, shows how welcome the repatriation flights were for the passengers – and how hard the crews are working to make this happen.

Government publishes England’s list of quarantine-free countries

The Government has, today, published the list of countries considered “safe”, from which travellers arriving in the UK from 10 July 2020 onwards will no longer be required to quarantine.

The quarantine-free list includes Belgium, Greece and Spain, but excludes Portugal, the United States and Russia.

The quarantine requirement was introduced by HM Government on 8 June.

From 10 July 2020, unless they have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the following countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England:

  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Réunion
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam

A four-nation approach has not been agreed, so the suspension of quarantine measures only takes place for travel to England. The administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet adopted this measure.

Quarantine lifted, air bridges introduced and Foreign Office travel warnings changed

Update – Friday 3 July

Passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations which pose a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens, including Spain and Italy, will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has set out.


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The new measures will come into force from 10 July 2020, meaning that people arriving from selected destinations will be able to enter England without needing to self-isolate, unless they have been in or transited through non-exempt countries in the preceding 14 days.

A risk assessment has been conducted by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close consultation with Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer. The assessment draws on a range of factors including the prevalence of coronavirus, the numbers of new cases and potential trajectory of the disease in that destination.

The list of countries will be published later today. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation. Whether you are a holidaymaker or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses.

The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.


International business travel has been given a boost with the news that the UK Government is to suspend the 14-day quarantine requirement for a series of countries, introducing instead “air-bridge” arrangements while the Foreign Office warning against all but essential international travel will be lifted for countries deemed safe.

The full list of countries is still to be confirmed. People will be allowed to travel to the named countries, without having to quarantine on return, from 6 July.

The list of “safe” countries is being finalised by the UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, working with Public Health England. Countries will be ranked as green, amber or red based on an assessment of risk from Covid-19.

Business travellers will be able to travel freely to both green and amber countries.

The decision to relax quarantine requirements follows pressure from Focus Travel Partnership members, the Business Travel Association as well as airlines and other industry stakeholders.

A 14-day quarantine will stay in place for anyone arriving in the UK from countries not rated green or amber, with passengers required to self-isolate at a declared address, potentially enforceable with a £1,000 fine.

Clive Wratten, Chief Executive of the Business Travel Association and Abby Penston, Chief Executive of the Focus Travel Partnership gave us their reactions to the latest information, and called for further clarity as soon as possible:

Etihad Airways launches digital Covid-19 risk assessment tool

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is partnering with Austrian-based healthcare technology company Medicus AI to launch a COVID-19 risk-assessment tool that will help passengers make informed decisions about travelling.

The Etihad Covid-19 self-assessment tool is accessible via the airline’s website

The risk-assessment tool will guide Etihad’s passengers in evaluating the probability of having contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus by responding to a set of 22 questions. The self-administered assessment, which takes less than five minutes to complete, is based on World Health Organization guidelines.

With this risk-assessment tool, passengers will understand their individual probability of having contracted the virus alongside advisories and recommendations, allowing them to make informed decisions about travelling.

Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad Airways, said:

We know that health and wellbeing will be a major factor impacting the travel decisions of our guests and are committed to ensuring their continued safety and peace of mind when they choose to travel with Etihad Airways. As flying operations begin to resume globally, we want to empower our guests to make informed decisions on travel. Partnering with Medicus AI on this innovative new tool is just one of the ways we are adapting our operations and guest experience to meet the new demands placed on the travel industry as a result of Covid-19.

Dr. Baher Al Hakim, Chief Executive Officer, Medicus AI, said:

We are proud to support Etihad Airways in their efforts to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew as the world returns to normality. Our initial efforts at the start of the pandemic were to help provide assessment and monitoring tools, and as needs shift, our efforts have evolved to help our partners bring people back to their day-to-day life in a safe manner.

The tool is now available to guests on Etihad.com and is accessible in English, with additional language editions such as Arabic, French, German and Portuguese being added in phases.

Etihad Airways has been actively sourcing and investing in innovative solutions to enhance the safety and wellbeing of its employees and guests in light of the impact of Covid-19 and has also recently announced trials of Covid-19 triage and contactless technology at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Passengers can pre-book security slots at Manchester Airport, free of charge

Manchester Airport will trial offering free 15-minute pre-booked security slots as part of a new standard for safe air travel. The approach is designed to allow the airport to manage the volume of passengers coming through security more efficiently and help keep queues shorter.

To improve the security experience and help restore confidence in travel as the airport begins to see more people wanting to travel, passengers at Manchester Airport now have the opportunity to pre-book a free 15-minute security slot, as part of a UK-first new trial by MAG, the airport’s owner.

The option is available from this week and accessible here: https://booking.manchesterairport.co.uk/security/dates/

The trial is part of a series of measures introduced by MAG to ensure passengers feel safer and more confident about travelling by air, particularly when travel demand starts to grow again in the near future.

The airport claims to have been the first to ask all passengers to cover their face either with face masks or with their own clothing. All MAG colleagues, interacting with passengers, are also required to wear the necessary protective equipment.

By booking a free slot, passengers will benefit from access to a dedicated lane straight to the security checkpoint and will be able to reach the departure lounge quicker. This approach will also allow the airport to manage the volume of passengers coming through security more efficiently and help keep queues shorter.

The availability of slots is limited and is operated on a first come first served basis, through online booking. Passengers are encouraged to make a booking around two hours before their flight departure time and asked to arrive within the chosen slot. If passengers arrive outside the allocated time, they will not be able to access the dedicated line and will be redirected to the security queue, which may be longer than usual given social distancing measures that the airport will put in place.

Manchester Airport is the first UK Airport to announce such a scheme, and in so doing is aiming to support safe standards for future air travel. If successful, the technology will be put in place at the group’s other airports at London Stansted and East Midlands.

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said:

Safety and security will always be the first priority and, at the same time, Covid-19 will undoubtedly reshape the airport experience. We are exploring every innovation and technology that can help us to adapt to the new world, protect public health and restore confidence in air travel.

This new measure will allow us to manage our security process more efficiently in these challenging times, providing a better and more comfortable experience for passengers.

It is the latest in a series of measures introduced by MAG to make travel safer during the pandemic, which includes asking passengers and colleagues to wear face coverings and piloting temperature screening technologies.”


Norwegian to restart short-haul flights from London and Edinburgh

Norwegian has announced that, as a result of increased customer demand the airline will begin to operate flights between London Gatwick to Oslo, London Gatwick to Copenhagen, Edinburgh to Oslo and Edinburgh to Copenhagen from 1 July.

London to Oslo will be operated seven times a week, London to Copenhagen six times a week, Edinburgh to Oslo and Copenhagen twice a week respectively.

Jacob Schram, Norwegian CEO said:


Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian: “Norwegian will be in a position to continue to offer our customers great value”

Feedback from our customers has shown that they are keen to get back in the air and resume their travels with Norwegian beyond the current domestic services that we have been operating. Norwegian is returning to European skies with the reintroduction of more aircraft to serve our key destinations which will ensure that we remain in line with competing carriers.

Safety remains our top priority and we have introduced a number of specific measures to further reduce the already low risk of infection on board.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:

The restart of regular Norwegian services from Gatwick is very welcome news and reflects the strength of the relationship and success the airline has had at Gatwick in recent years, as well as the fact that consumer demand is picking up as more people want to start flying again. For our part, the airport is ready to go and we have implemented a range of measures to protect the we

Since April Norwegian has only operated eight aircraft on domestic routes in Norway. Now another 12 aircraft will re-join the fleet and be put into operation across Scandinavia to serve popular core destinations.

From July Norwegian will operate 76 routes across Europe from the airline’s Scandinavian hubs compared to the 13 domestic Norway only flights served previously. Other destinations include Spain, Greece and key European cities.

Further destinations and frequency increases will be announced in due course subject to passenger demand and government travel restrictions.

Edinburgh Airport reveals measures, backed up by “let’s all flysafe” campaign

A new campaign and range of measures to help passengers and staff prepare for the return of travel has been announced by Edinburgh Airport.

The “let’s all flysafe” campaign is part of the airport’s readiness programme as airlines begin to restart operations and will provide confidence and reassurance to those travelling through and working at the airport.

Measures introduced at the airport include:


The sky-blue line will guide people into the terminal while the maroon line will guide people out of the terminal.
  • One-way colour-coded systems to manage flow and social distance
  • Hand sanitising stations installed inside and outside the airport
  • Protective screens installed in check-in, security and arrivals
  • A trial of temperature checking technology for departing passengers
  • Staff wearing face coverings and PPE in passenger facing areas
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules and new fogging machines to disinfect trollies and wheelchairs
  • Deep cleaning of security trays, and new anti-viral trays introduced

Sanitising stations have been installed for people to clean their hands before entering the terminal, before and after security and in Arrivals.

The campaign is backed by new signage at the airport clearly explaining to people where they need to go. They include colours different from the traditional brand colours. The sky-blue, maroon red and lime green differentiates the campaign from regular materials.

Social media graphics will also be used to prepare people ahead of arriving at the airport, while emails containing the same messaging will be sent to our passengers.

The campaign encourages staff and passengers to work together and for all of us to do what we can to protect each other and flysafe. The airport has introduced five general rules for travellers to follow:

  • Don’t risk it – don’t fly or come to the airport if you feel unwell
  • Protect yourself and others – please wear a face covering
  • Clean your hands often – wash or use sanitiser
  • Maintain social distancing and be mindful of other passengers
  • Be kind, be patient and flysafe

The introduction of the campaign and enhanced measures comes as airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair, Loganair, Wizz and British Airways look to reintroduce parts of their schedule.

The let’s all flysafe campaign has been created in partnership with Edinburgh-based The Lane Agency who have a strong track record with high-profile campaigns and a close relationship with the airport.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

We know how important it is to provide passengers with reassurance and confidence as they look to return to travel and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at how we do that by making improvements to our operation.

The steps we have taken will allow people to get moving safely and reopen our economy by providing that connectivity that our airlines are rebuilding. We all have a part to play in this recovery and we must make sure we do that by encouraging people to flysafe.

Adam Wilson, Operations Director at Edinburgh Airport said:

Although we never want to see a near empty airport, we’ve utilised the time to closely look at the terminal and surrounding areas and come up with a plan to protect everyone as much as possible.

We know the layout is different and we know it will take time to adapt to it, but we believe the campaign and measures are the right thing for our airport and our passengers. We’re effectively welcoming people into our home and these changes are our way of providing them with confidence and reassurance, letting them know we care about and them and their journeys.

We’ll continue to evaluate our approach as we go forward, and we encourage people to provide feedback and help us all flysafe.

Face coverings required from Monday 15 June

Following the latest government advice, from Monday 15 June wearing face coverings when travelling by train or other public transport will be compulsory.

Check for full details on what the government means by ‘face covering’ and everything else you need to know about the new rule, please click here.

Social distancing means there is space on the railway for between 10 and 20% of the usual number of people. So, please consider carefully whether your journey is really necessary and, in line with government advice, work from home if you can. If you need to travel, please consider walking or cycling.

For those who are taking the train, the Rail Delivery Group is committed to doing all they can to help you travel safely. Please go at quieter times if you can. If possible, buy your ticket before getting to the station or use contactless, and check the latest information before you set off.

Find out about travelling safely and other coronavirus travel updates on the National Rail Enquiries website page.

Below is a short Frequently Asked Questions from the Rail Delivery Group that tells you all you need to know to follow this new rule, which will apply on all rail services for your entire journey.

  • Q. What is a face covering?
  • 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.
  • Q. Will face coverings be provided or available to buy at the station?
  • Not necessarily. You should bring your own face covering. We are, however, starting to install vending machines in some stations to make it easier for you to buy face coverings if you forget to bring one.
  • Q. Where does this apply – just on trains or in stations too?
  • You need to wear face coverings from when you enter a station all the way through your journey, including exiting the station at the other end. If you are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, you should keep your face covering while interchanging to avoid touching your face or mouth unnecessarily.
  • Q. What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability?
  • You can still use public transport. We want you to be able to travel with dignity and our staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability or medical condition.
  • Q. I’m deaf and I need to lip read what staff are telling me. Can they take off their face covering to help me?
  • 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.
  • Q. Do children require face coverings?
  • Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.
  • Q. What do I do with my face covering when I am finished with it?
  • We encourage you 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.
  • Q. What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering?
  • We are confident that the vast majority of people will 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 people may not be able to wear as mask due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, you should keep your distance – at least two metres, if possible.