Anyone travelling with us must wear a face covering on our trains and at our stations unless they have an exemption. You should put on your face covering before you enter the station and keep it on until you leave the station at your destination.
If you do not, you could be fined by the British Transport Police. This fine starts at £200 for first offences, doubling after each offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
This is part of efforts across public transport to minimise the spread of coronavirus where social distancing becomes more difficult. You can find out what's considered a face covering in the frequently asked questions below, or find out more about travelling on our Coronavirus information page.
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:
- 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.
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:
- 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
People are also permitted to remove their face covering to take medication. Our staff are also being briefed about this.
You can view the Government guidance on exemptions to face coverings 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 National Rail’s 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.