Public Transport
Q & A

There has been a public transport update from the UK government which has come into effect from June 15th, 2020. It has become mandatory for all travellers to wear masks or face covering when on a train or public transport in England. To help clear up any questions you may have about these latest updates, we’ve created a Q&A. 

We understand that a lot of people are not travelling at the moment but that there is also an essential need for many to continue to do so. For those that are continuing to use public transport please bear in mind that social distancing means there is space on the railway for between 10-20% of the usual number of people. 

To ensure you follow the new rule on all rail services for the entirety of your journey, familerise yourself with some of the questions we’ve answered below.


Q. What is considered an appropriate 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. For full government advice click here.


Q. Will face coverings be provided or available to buy at the station? 

This can’t be guaranteed. It is advised that you bring your own face covering to be sure.  Some stations are starting to install vending machines to make it easier for you to buy face coverings if you forget to bring one but this will be at larger hubs and may not be available yet. 


Q. Does this rule 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 have a medical reason or a disability that means I can’t wear a face covering?

You can still use public transport. Staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability or medical condition, so ensure you make this known.


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 the biggest stations, they are in the process getting transparent face coverings for people in the mobility teams. Elsewhere, a common-sense approach will be taken in each instance, taking social distance into consideration instead. 


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 hopeful 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 a mask due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, you should keep your distance – at least two metres, where possible. 


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


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