Travelling during COVID-19
We will be keeping this page up to date with advice on how to travel as safely as possible during COVID-19. Please also continue to follow the latest advice from government and public health officials. You can visit the NHS website for the latest Coronavirus guidance.
Can I travel during COVID-19?
In order to travel safely, please follow the safety measures described below.
Wear a face covering. To travel on public transport, you must wear a face covering. While the face covering does not have to be a face mask, it must cover both your mouth and your nose. Please be aware, certain passengers are exempt from wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and people with breathing difficulties. For other exemptions check here.
Keep your distance. Wherever possible, please keep a 2-metre distance from others at all times. Follow one-way systems and queuing guidance from staff both at stations and on-board trains.
Book tickets online. Avoid buying tickets on the day at station ticket offices and ticket machines. You can purchase pay-monthly annual season tickets from online Commuter Club here, and standard weekly, monthly, and annual season tickets here. We will then deliver your ticket straight to your door.
Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travel. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after your journey. While you are travelling, carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Avoid travelling during peak hours. Where possible, travel off-peak when services are likely to be less busy. Also make sure to check the status of your journey before you travel.
Do not travel if you feel unwell. To reduce the rate of transmission it is very important that you do not travel if you or someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19.
Do I need a seat reservation?
Some train companies are advising that customers reserve a seat to ensure they can travel on their chosen service under social distancing conditions. For non-season tickets, most operators allow seat reservations to be made at the point of purchase. If you are a season ticket holder, please check below for guidance on reserving a seat.
LNER. Season ticket holders can make seat reservations up to 5 minutes before a train’s departure using LNER’s new reservation tool.
Avanti West Coast. If you have a flexible ticket (Off-Peak, Anytime) or are a Season ticket holder, you can make a reservation by getting in touch here: [email protected]
GWR. Season ticket holders can reserve seats by emailing [email protected]
CrossCountry. If you are a Season ticket holder, you can reserve a seat by contacting CrossCountry’s customer relations team on 03447 369 123 or via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or Facebook.com/crosscountrytrains.
What are train companies doing to make things safer?
Train companies are making a ‘Safer Travel Pledge’ to help combat the spread of COVID-19. These are the eight measures train companies are taking:
1. Add more trains and extra carriages in timetables to make more room and help with social distancing.
2. Display new social distancing signs so passengers know where to go, are able to stay 2m apart more easily, and can avoid pinch points.
3. Use powerful fog cleaning on trains and ensure trains and stations cleaned more frequently throughout the day.
4. Restock soap more often on trains and in stations so it’s easier for passengers to keep their hands virus-free.
5. Install face covering and hand sanitiser vending machines at over 150 stations so passengers can more easily buy what they need.
6. Install hand sanitiser points in over 300 stations so passengers can protect themselves on the go.
7. Alert passengers to busy trains via Messenger app. Search ‘National Rail’ on your Messenger app to get started.
8. Deploy up to 2,500 extra staff available at key locations to help passengers along their journeys.
What is Commuter Club doing to help?
We’re incredibly grateful for the service of our key workers and we want to do what we can to help you through this difficult time. We don’t think your commute is another thing you need to be worrying about right now, so we’ve taken 70% off the cost of travel in the first month.
That means the first 3 weeks travel on a Commuter Club ticket will be free and you'll save well over a month in total. For example, a Zone 1-4 commuter would only pay £60 for their first month’s travel and save £567/year versus using contactless.
You can sign up online and we’ll deliver your ticket right to your door. So if you're a key worker, click here and let us take the expense and the hassle out of your commute.
How do I cancel my annual ticket because of COVID-19?
You can find more information about our cancellation process here.
If you have a Commuter Club annual ticket that you are not able to use due to COVID-19, you can cancel your ticket online via your dashboard. We’ve been working hard to make our cancellation process as quick and easy as possible, including:
• Launching a tool so that you can cancel your annual ticket online without needing to send anything off in the post or visit a ticket office.
• Backdating your last use date by up to 56 days so that you only pay for the time you’ve used your ticket, if you applied for a refund prior to 7 Sep 2020 (please note that under National Rail guidance, we are no longer able to process backdated refunds unless you can provide evidence that illness prevented you from travelling (Condition 40.4 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel). Please email your evidence to [email protected] and our team will share this with the rail operator to see if backdating is possible).
• Prioritising helping vulnerable customers first. We know this is a stressful time, especially if you lost your job or are in financial difficulty, so we are making sure those who need it most get help as soon as possible.
• We’re also choosing not to pass on the £10 administration fee that the rail industry charges for cancellation to our customers.