Coronavirus Safer Travel

The most recent government advice for us all

Last updated 15th January 2020

As government guidance changes, with national lockdown measures in place in England and Wales, our service levels across our network will be adapted accordingly. Find out more about the service levels in your region here.

We closely follow government guidelines and all of our buses are COVID-19 secure. Should you need to travel with us, our advice is to plan your journeys in advance and be aware of on bus social distancing guidance, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings. You can also find in-depth FAQs about Coronavirus and bus travel here. 

How is travel affected by the government’s lockdown measures in England and Wales?

You must not leave home unless you have a reasonable excuse (e.g. work, education). 

English government advice also recommends that if you do need to travel you should:

  • Stay local (this means not travelling outside your village, town or part of a city where you live)
  • Reduce the number of journeys made 
  • Walk or cycle where possible
  • Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

For more information about the reasons you can leave your home and area, visit Gov.uk here.

Face coverings

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What you need to know

Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs

From Monday 15th June 2020 in England and Monday 27th July in Wales, the government has announced face coverings are mandatory on public transport. Arriva has updated its conditions of carriage to adopt this policy. Arriva Bus continues to work with the relevant government authorities around further guidance and we will continue to publish information as we receive it on our website and social media channels.

You can read the full guidance for England on the Gov.uk website here.
You can read the full guidance for Wales on the Gov.Wales website here.

Key points:

  • Face coverings are mandatory in enclosed public spaces including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs
  • The requirements mean face coverings must be worn in indoor train stations and terminals, airports, maritime ports, and indoor bus and coach stations, travel shops or terminals
  • The measures are an important step in reducing the spread of Coronavirus
  • Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police of up to £200 in England and £60 in Wales (which doubles for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £1920)

Who needs to wear a face covering and who is exempt?

Face coverings must be worn by all customers onboard our buses unless they are exempt. This includes children under 11, people with breathing difficulties and those with a condition that might make it difficult to wear a face covering. As our drivers sit behind screens, they do not need to wear a face covering. You will also find more information on face covering exemptions in our 'face coverings and social distancing' FAQ section here.

How to wear them properly and how to make your own 

A face covering is a cloth covering that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth which can be made at home. You should not use medical grade PPE as this needs to be reserved for health and care workers. People should make or buy their own. However, someone wearing PPE would be compliant with the regulation. Homemade cloth face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances. Face coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically.

The English government has issued guidance notes on how to make and wear your own face covering that can be found here.

The Welsh government has also issued guidance notes that can be found here.

Who can travel?

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The latest guidance from the English government states that you must not leave home unless you have a reasonable excuse (e.g. work, education).

Government advice also recommends that if you do need to travel you should:

  • Stay local (this means not travelling outside your village, town or part of a city where you live)
  • Reduce the number of journeys made 
  • Walk or cycle where possible
  • Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

Latest guidance from the Welsh government states that travel is limited to essential travel only, for example, for caring responsibilities or for work purposes where people cannot work from home.

Please don’t travel:

  • If you feel unwell, have a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or experience a loss, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

And also do not travel if you:

  • Are self-isolating as a result of Coronavirus symptoms or sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms
  • Are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot shield during your journey
  • Have been advised by the NHS test and trace service that you should self-isolate
  • 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

As capacity on public transport remains limited, the guidance from the English Government states that you can help control the virus and travel safely by:

  • Working from home where possible
  • Shopping locally and less often
  • Considering all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before using public transport
  • Avoiding the busiest times and routes
  • Keeping your distance when you travel, where possible
  • Washing or sanitising your hands regularly

Please also remember, it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling on a bus, train, tram, plane, cable car, ferry, hovercraft or other vessel and when inside any transport hub which includes bus stations, interchanges or travel shops.

Social distancing onboard

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Our social distancing onboard poster and our COVID-19 secure certificate help you understand social distancing onboard and our commitment to keeping you safe.

You can also view our COVID-19 risk assessment, outlining how our Arriva Bus sites, fleets and services are COVID-19 secure. 

Arriva and You

Watch our animation for a run down of everything you need to know about safely travelling onboard our buses.

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