You should only travel for work if it is essential, or for other legally permitted reasons.

If you do need to travel, there are a number of steps you can take to help keep you, your fellow passengers and our colleagues safe.

  • Wear a face covering - now more than ever it is crucial that you wear a face covering on our trains and at our stations (unless you are exempt) or you could get a fine from the British Transport Police. Fines start at £200 for a first offence (£100 if paid within 14 days). The fine doubles for each subsequent offence with no discount, up to a maximum of £6,400.

    You should put on your face covering before you enter the station and keep it on until you leave the station at your destination.

    Children under 11, and people with a disability, illness or condition that means they cannot wear a face covering are exempt. For more information about exemptions click here.

  • Travel outside of busy periods - you should still try to travel at quieter times. To better plan your journey we have created a guide to our busiest trains. Our guide shows when major stations tend to get busy on weekdays, and the crowding levels during our busiest times. If your station isn’t listed, then the level of crowding is likely to be low.
  • Keep your distance - make sure you follow the latest Government guidance on social distancing.
  • Wash your hands regularly - please wash your hands before and after you travel, you may also want to carry your own personal hand sanitiser.
  • Download the NHS COVID-19 App - you can download the NHS COVID-19 App here.
  • Plan ahead - check your journey in advance – you can find more information on our amended timetable here.
  • Buy your ticket online - buying your ticket online will make your journey through our station seamless and contact-free. Make the switch to our Touch smartcard, it’s free and you don’t need to queue to get your tickets. Find out more about Touch Smartcards here.
  • If you do need to buy your ticket at our stations, use contactless - cash is now accepted at our ticket offices and most ticket machines, but please use a payment card or contactless payment wherever possible.
  • Allow other passengers off before you board - stand well back and allow your fellow passengers off the train before you board, giving them plenty of room.
  • Be considerate of fellow passengers - when finding a seat consider your passengers and respect social distancing. Try and leave at least two rows free between yourself and other passengers when finding a seat. Where possible, travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them.
  • Be prepared to queue - we may need to introduce queuing at our busier stations to ensure social distancing, which means your journey may take longer.
  • Travelling outside of the SWR network - if your journey will see you travel to a different country within the UK, make sure you check the specific guidance for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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.

What is a face covering?
Where does this apply - just on trains or in stations too?
How long will these rules be in place?
What do I do with my face covering when I am finished with it?
What do rail staff do to make sure people wear face coverings on trains and on stations?
Why are people allowed on my train without face coverings?
Why don't all your rail staff wear face coverings?
How much could people be fined?
What’s the legal basis for this? Is it being done as a change to the National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT) or the railway bye laws?
What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering?
Will you be supplying face coverings for customers?
What about a long-distance service where people are on the train for hours, will this apply there?
Do children require face coverings?
Are you doing this just to reduce the need for social distancing?
Can I remove my face covering to eat or drink?
What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability?
Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
I’m Deaf/deaf or living with hearing loss and I need to lip read. Do I need to use a face covering? Can staff remove their face coverings?
I have a mental health condition that means I cannot wear a face covering. Will staff be made aware that I am exempt?