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What you need to do

The advice from the Government is aimed at helping control Coronavirus and travel safely. If you can, walk or cycle. Where this is not possible, use public transport or drive. You can also help control Coronavirus by:

  • Working safely –  this may be working from home, or within the workplace if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely
  • Washing or sanitising your hands regularly
  • Keeping your distance when you travel, where possible
  • Avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Read more about what you can and cannot do on the Government’s website.

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

If you have any symptoms of Coronavirus you should self-isolate at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have Coronavirus.

If anyone in your household or support bubble has symptoms of Coronavirus you should self-isolate. Check the NHS website if you have symptoms.

It is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling on Public Transport in England.

Visit the Government website for more
Covid19 Travel Advice

Wearing Face Coverings on Public Transport

It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering in England when travelling on a bus or coach, train or tram, ferry or hovercraft or other vessel, aircraft, or cable car.

If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth.

You are strongly encouraged to also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, or where there are people you do not normally meet.

Full guidance on Face Coverings

World Health Organization (WHO) advice | How to wear a fabric mask

How to wear and make a cloth face covering
Rail passenger with red cross

What is the travel advice?

At Transport for the North, we believe it has been crucial to ensure transport services are safe for passengers who need to use them, and for people working across the network.

The government advice is you should consider cycling, walking or driving wherever possible.

If you do travel, thinking carefully about the times, routes and ways you travel will mean we will all have more space to stay safe.

The guidance covers:

  • Plan your journey
  • On your journey
  • Completing your journey

If you do make journeys via Public Transport, take these precautions when travelling.

  • Maintain 2 metre distance where possible
  • Wear a face covering
  • Use contactless payment where possible
  • Be patient and follow instructions from transport staff
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as frequently as possible

Before and during your journey, check with your transport operator for the latest travel advice on your route.

National Rail and Network rail are providing key information and travel updates for rail commuters – encouraging everyone to Travel Safely This Summer.

This government page also provides information for working in the transport industry, including freight, shipping and sea ports.

Safer Travel Guidance

What measures are transport providers taking?

Rail networks across the north have implemented amended timetables.

These operator timetables have been informed by intelligence fed into the North of England Contingency Group, chaired by Transport for the North, and have been tailored to take account of the demand on the network.

These changes to rail provision across the region have been effective and focused, allowing those people who need to use public transport to do so safely.

The process of feeding back local intelligence to the rail industry will be maintained by Transport for the North’s Strategic Rail team throughout the crisis.

The Government has also issued safer working principles and risk assessment for transport operators and organisations.

Man looking at live journey information
Interior of new Northern trains

Train operators and Network Rail

Measures taken by the operators and Network Rail to reduce risk during the pandemic include:

  • Deep cleaning of trains
  • Extra sanitisation facilities at stations
  • Cessation of on-board refreshments
  • Contact-less payment where possible
  • Closure of communal waiting rooms
  • Special ticket refund and rebooking measures – including for season tickets
  • Social distancing measures to protect passengers and train crews

Network Rail

Providing information on safer travel during the pandemic. Also advising people who do use Public Transport to check before they set out and follow public health advice. Read more.


Asking people who choose to travel by train to do so safely. The amended temporary timetables are designed to provide the best possible rail service during this difficult time. These timetables are subject to change. It is advisable to plan your journey using National Rail Journey Planner for the most accurate service.

TransPennine Express

A reduced frequency timetable is in place across the TransPennine Express network.

Find out more about the measures the train operator is taking here.

Highways England

Has robust contingency plans in place to ensure all critical work can continue. All of roads remain open and teams are working hard to ensure traffic flows smoothly for all those who still need to travel.  Find out more here.

British Transport Police

Continuing to patrol major transport hubs and support rail staff in engaging with passengers, explaining the importance of preventing the spread of the virus, and encouraging people to wear face coverings.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said in a statement:

“We are confident that those who need to use the railway will act responsibly and will want to play their part in helping to protect each other and comply with the requirement to wear face coverings.”

What action is Transport for the North taking?

At Transport for the North,  we urge commuters and rail companies to continue to follow the latest advice from government and public health officials.

We have taken the decision to move to full remote working to help protect all our team members, while remaining a fully functional organisation.

Our offices in Manchester and Leeds are closed until further notice, and we have issued full guidance to staff on working from home.

Meetings with key stakeholders continue via video conferencing and phone calls, to ensure everyone is across the latest advice and supported to deliver the required actions.

What should you do to help protect the NHS and Save Lives?

To reiterate, please consider whether you can walk, cycle or drive to your destination.

The Government guidance urges people to work from home if they can, or in a covid secure workplace, and avoid public transport where possible to reduce pressure on the network.

The advice adds those who have to travel for work should consider changing their travel habits – including cycling, walking or driving, and avoiding rush hour – to help people socially distance from others and reduce pressure on public transport.

Face coverings are required while using public transport in England. The updated advice has been published, along with guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

We have joined with operating companies, Network Rail, and the British Transport Police in calling on EVERYONE in the North plan their journeys and consider all other forms of transport before using public transport.

With social distancing an absolutely vital weapon in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus, all are determined that those who have to use the railways can do so with the minimum of risk.

If you do travel, thinking carefully about the times, routes and ways you travel will mean we will all have more space to stay safe.

Walk or hire a bike to complete your journey