Can I travel with Greater Anglia to do my Christmas shopping and visit my relatives?

Published on: Tuesday, 1 December 2020
Last updated: Wednesday, 23 December 2020

  • Your journey

Some parts of the Greater Anglia network are in Tier 2 – high Covid alert level – and London, Hertfordshire, and parts of Essex and Peterborough are in Tier 4 – stay at home level. From Boxing Day, all of the Greater Anglia network will be in Tier 4.

Government guidance for Tier 2 areas is that you can travel for work, education or leisure, although you should consider making fewer journeys where possible. You should avoid travelling into Tier 3 or Tier 4 areas. When you travel on our trains, you can travel with confidence because we are doing as much as we can to keep you safe - from cleaning and sanitising trains, to making it easier to socially distance.

In Tier 4 areas guidance is that you should stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse such as for work or education purposes. If you need to travel you should stay local. You should not leave your Tier 4 area other than for legally permitted reasons as listed on the You Gov website

You can check which tier you’re in here:

Walk or cycle where you can and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Where that is not possible and you need to travel, click here for safer travel guidance.

Christmas bubble rules have now changed. If you live in Tier 4 then you cannot form a Christmas bubble. In other tiers, you can only see your Christmas bubble on Christmas Day – and you cannot stay overnight.

If you had booked a ticket and no longer wish to travel you may be eligible for a refund. Find out more here

If you are planning to travel with us over the Christmas period, please check before you travel. As usual, our last trains are earlier than normal on Christmas Eve and we don’t run any services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, apart from the Stansted Express (between Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport) on 26 December. Network Rail is carrying out some engineering works on Sunday 27 December on parts of the network, so some services will be run with rail replacement buses.You can check our Christmas services. Rest assured we’ll do our best to get you safely to your loved ones this Christmas.

If you’re a student travelling home for Christmas, the Government advised you to go home between 3-9 December. We’ve written a blog especially for you.

Will I be safe on your trains? Will they be packed?

The Government is still advising people to work from home wherever possible, so our passenger numbers are still lower than usual. In addition, we have new longer trains running on many of our routes, making it easier to socially distance on board. We’re also running a near normal timetable, which helps too. If you’re travelling between East Anglia and London Liverpool Street, you can check for less busy trains on our website.You can help by sitting in a window seat, so you’re further away from people walking down the aisle.

Our stations are marked with plenty of signs, floor markings, protective screens and, in some cases, one-way systems to make social distancing at the station easier. You can help too by using the full length of platforms and trains and not walking to the end of the train when you arrive at terminus stations such as Liverpool Street, Norwich or Cambridge, but getting off from your carriage and walking down the platform instead.

'When you travel, travel with confidence' written on a banner with a grey background and a red hare

We’re cleaning and sanitising our trains

We’ve taken on more train cleaners and stepped up our cleaning regime, with new powerful equipment to keep our trains as hygienic as possible. We’re regularly wiping down high touch areas such as push buttons, grab rails and door handles with disinfectant. We’re also using fogging guns to spray large areas with a fine mist of disinfectant. Plus we’re carrying out regular tests to make sure our extra cleaning is effective, including randomly testing our trains for Covid-19 – all these tests have come back negative.

Buy your ticket online

If you buy your ticket online or using our app, you can spend less time at the station, which also helps with social distancing. Check our website for details of the many discounted fares available.

Help us to help you keep safe

Please don’t travel if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

It’s now compulsory to wear a face covering while on our stations and trains. Please make sure it covers your nose and mouth and keep it on for the entire journey. There are some exemptions and you can download an exemption card.

Wash or sanitise your hands regularly. We’re making sure we’re keeping soap and water topped up in our toilets and we have hand sanitiser available at all our staffed stations – but it’s a good idea to carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser with you.

I need assistance to complete my journey – will someone still be able to help me, if I need it?

Yes, of course, we’ll be happy to help you. If you need assistance, we will still help you, although it’s a little bit different since pre-Covid as we must make sure we keep you and our staff safe. Our staff will discuss with you what assistance you require and how they’ll do it maintaining social distance until the assistance is required. Our staff will wear a face covering while they assist you, but if you’re having difficulty hearing them or you need to lip read, they’ll remove it. If you need staff to push your wheelchair or handle your luggage, they’ll sanitise the handles first.

If you need sighted guiding, please sanitise your hands before making physical contact. We don’t expect you to wear gloves. Please wear a face covering, unless you’re exempt, and maintain a safe social distance until the member of staff is ready to help.

If possible, please pre-book your assistance to give us time to prepare.

Man wearing a blue face covering sitting in wheelchair on a train