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.
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 a face covering if you forget to bring one.
Face coverings are mandatory on board the train and in all enclosed areas of railway stations, from when you enter a station, throughout your journey and exiting the station at the other end. If you are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, you should avoid taking off your face covering while interchanging and avoid touching your face or mouth unnecessarily.
No. Face coverings are now mandatory on board all trains. We need to be sure that everyone is following the new rules and so you must bring a separate face covering with you for this specific purpose.
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 face covering due to their disability or medical condition.
Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.
Rail staff engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings when they travel by train and encourage people to wear them. The vast majority of people do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Unless they have a good reason, those that don’t wear a face covering could receive a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling each time to a maximum of £6,400 from the British Transport Police.
Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that is not exempt from wearing a face covering can get a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling each time to a maximum of £6,400 from the police or Transport for London enforcement officers.
Rail staff engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings when they travel by train and encourage people to wear them. The rail industry is working closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) in order to enforce the use of face coverings for those who aren’t exempt. The majority of people do wear face coverings but areas where compliance isn’t as high will begin to see a greater police presence.
Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers that are not wearing face coverings. Please inform a member of rail staff who will be able to engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings on public transport.
It is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport unless you are exempt. Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not be apparent so help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Anyone that is not exempt from wearing a face covering can get a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling each time to a maximum of £6,400 from the police or Transport for London enforcement officers.
There are some instances when face coverings are not expected to be worn by rail employees such as if they are exempt for medical reasons, in safety critical roles, when communicating to hearing impaired passengers, in train cabs when they’re on their own, when behind glass or Perspex barriers such as in a booking office or information points where social distancing can be achieved.
We encourage you to use a reusable face covering 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.
The vast majority of people are doing the right thing and helping to 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 face covering due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a face covering, you should try to keep your distance.
Yes. You can temporarily remove your face covering whilst eating, drinking or taking medication whilst maintaining social distancing. You are expected to replace your face covering to continue your journey. We kindly ask that you keep the removal of your face covering, when it comes to eating, drinking or taking medication, to a minimum especially on short journeys.
People with a disability or illness that means that they cannot wear a face covering can still travel by train. Government guidance states that you do not have to wear a face covering if:
We are asking our staff to be considerate when using their discretion. The following kinds of illness or disability may mean someone does not need to wear a face covering:
- If you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering.
- If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress.
- If you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
- If you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering.
People are also permitted to remove their face covering to take medication. Our staff are also being briefed about this.
- Breathing difficulties
Conditions affecting dexterity
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders
- Visual impairments or with a restricted field of vision
- Anyone reliant on lip reading – including companions or carers for whom a face covering would impede their ability to communicate
You can view the Government guidance on exemptions to face coverings here or see 'Face Covering Exemptions' page.
If you need to remove your face covering or ask a member of staff to remove theirs to communicate, please remember to give staff two metres space to ensure that social distancing can be adhered to. If staff are behind screens and light is reflecting on the screen, please ask if they could write down any information for you or move to enable you to lip read. There is a more detailed FAQs on our Assisted Travel FAQs page.
If you are reliant on lip reading – for example with companions or carers – for your journey, you will not be expected to wear a covering when communicating. If you can, please wear a face covering when not communicating for your and other people’s safety.
Yes. We will brief staff to ensure that they are considerate and discrete when engaging customers about wearing a face covering.
No. Staff will be briefed to understand that any customer who is living with a disability or health condition will not be required to provide any proof.