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.