Coronavirus (COVID-19): transport and travel guidance

Information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the coronavirus outbreak. You should avoid using public transport where possible. Instead try to walk, cycle, or drive.

Before you travel, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. Consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. Walking and cycling will reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network.

If you do travel by public transport, thinking carefully about the times, routes and ways you travel will mean we will all have more space to stay safe. Check with your transport operator for the latest travel advice on your route:

Travel may take longer than normal on some routes due to reduced capacity and social distancing measures. Allow sufficient time if your journey involves changes between different forms of transport.

Plan ahead by identifying alternative routes and options in case of unexpected disruption. If you can, travel at off-peak times. Your employer may agree alternative or flexible working hours to support this.

Where possible, book your travel online through your transport provider’s ticketing app or website. Consider contactless payment to buy tickets.

Try to start or end your journey using a station or mode of transport you know to be quieter or more direct. For instance, walk the first or last mile of your journey, or alight at an earlier station, where this is possible.

Treat transport staff with respect and follow instructions from your transport operator. This may include:

  • notices about which seats to use or how to queue
  • additional screens, barriers or floor markings
  • requests to board through different doors or to move to less busy areas


Help keep yourself, other passengers and transport staff safe:

  • wait for passengers to get off first before you board
  • ensure you maintain social distancing, where possible, including at busy entrances, exits, under canopies, bus stops, platforms or outside stations
  • be prepared to queue or take a different entrance or exit at stations
  • wait for the next service if you cannot safely keep your distance on board a train, bus or coach
  • respect other people’s space while travelling
  • avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible
  • be aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
  • be aware that some individuals may have hidden disabilities

Where people from different households need to use a vehicle at the same time, good ventilation (keeping the car windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk of transmission. Where possible, consider seating arrangements to optimise distance between people in the vehicle.

If you are in close proximity to people outside your household, you should:

  • avoid physical contact
  • try to face away from them
  • keep the time you spend close to them as short as possible

If you can, wear a face covering if you need to use public transport. A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by the law. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and after taking them off. Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.


Checklists for safer travel

Plan your journey

  • can I walk or cycle to my destination?
  • have I checked the latest travel advice from my transport operator?
  • have I booked my travel ticket online, bought a pass or checked if contactless payment is possible?
  • have I planned my journey to minimise crowded areas and allow for delays?
  • am I taking the most direct route to my destination?


What to take with you

  • a plan for my journey
  • contactless payment card or pass
  • phone (if needed for travel updates, tickets, contactless payments)
  • tickets
  • hand sanitiser
  • essential medicines
  • tissues
  • a face covering, if required
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