Published on: Friday, 12 June 2020
Last updated: Friday, 12 June 2020
Rail passengers are advised that they must wear face coverings on Greater Anglia’s stations and trains from Monday 15 June, following the Government announcement last week, which made their use mandatory for public transport users.
More shops and businesses are due to re-open on Monday, as lockdown is gradually eased, which means more people could be using trains to travel to work.
Current Government advice is to avoid public transport and to only travel by train if you need to and you cannot travel another way, in which case you must wear a face covering.
Children under the age of 11 and people with a disability or illness which means they cannot wear a face covering are exempt from wearing them – and are still able to travel by train.
Greater Anglia staff will be encouraging customers to wear face coverings – which could be a scarf or bandanna or a face mask - to comply with the new regulation.
Greater Anglia has introduced a wide range of measures to make it easier for customers to maintain social distancing at stations and on trains. Wearing face coverings can also help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial and customer service director, said: "We would urge all customers to wear face coverings if they need to travel by train, so that we can all keep as safe as possible from the virus.
"We’re doing our best to help our customers by making it easier to maintain social distancing and monitoring passenger numbers to make sure trains are long and frequent enough to avoid crowding.
"Please help us to help you by wearing face coverings and following guidelines and instructions on our stations and trains."
Greater Anglia has installed floor markings, one-way systems, new signs and queuing systems, as well as closing some facilities such as benches and waiting rooms to make it easier for customers to socially distance at stations.
People are advised to spend as little time at stations as possible – buying tickets online or via the Greater Anglia app or using contactless payment at vending machines if they have to buy tickets at the station.
Customers should use the whole length of the platforms and trains, to ensure they are as spread out as possible, and to stand back to let people off the train before boarding.
Passengers should remain in their seat until they reach their destination, rather than walking down to the front of the train.
Greater Anglia has also stepped up cleaning on stations and trains, concentrating on high-touch areas such as push buttons, grab rails and door handles.
The train company is currently running a revised timetable similar to Saturday service and monitoring passenger numbers on daily basis. As a result of rising customer numbers on some trains, from Monday the frequency of services between Bishops Stortford and Stratford, and between Meridian Water and Stratford, will both increase from hourly to half hourly, and one extra early morning service will operate between Colchester and London Liverpool Street.
More details about revised timetables, ticket office opening hours, social distancing and other changes linked to the pandemic are available on the Greater Anglia website.