Coronavirus Safer Travel
The most recent government advice for us all
Last updated 26th November 2020
Following the announcement on Saturday 31st October about the new national lockdown restrictions for England that will come into effect from Thursday 5th November, we want to reassure you that we will continue to operate our current timetable. Our first priority is to keep our customers and our staff safe. Should there be any impact to our services and timetables, we will endeavour to update you as soon as possible on our website and via real-time data on our Arriva UK Bus app. 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.
What you need to know
Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs
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.
- 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)
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 news story published on Gov.uk for England here.
Key points in the article are:
- Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible - with the government also working with operators to ensure staff are provided with face coverings where appropriate
- People should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on/after taking it off and it is important that people don’t touch their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus
- 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
You can read the full news story published on Gov.Wales for Wales here.
Key points in the article are:
- Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering for the duration of their journey. This has been implemented to minimise the risk of exposure to Coronavirus and is part of a wide range of restrictions and requirements that seek to contain the spread of the virus
- Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose. When putting coverings on, and while they are on, passengers are advised that they should only handle the straps, ties or clips and should not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. Passengers should also wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before and after removing
- Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations could face a fixed penalty of £60 (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?
Latest guidance from the English government states that you should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However, you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:
- Travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
- Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
- Hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
- Visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
- Exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so
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
Arriva and You
Watch our animation for a run down of everything you need to know about safely travelling onboard our buses.