Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advice

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Coronavirus – Our safer travel pledge

We’re pleased to welcome customers to travel on our trains and we want to reassure you that safeguarding your health is our top priority at Greater Anglia. Whether you’re travelling for work, business or leisure, our aim is to provide you with a safe, healthy, enjoyable journey.

Your safety is important to us. This is our safer travel pledge.

Travelling with Greater Anglia Covid-19 travel advice

You’re welcome to take the train, whatever the reason for your journey.

View the government's travel advice and information on other guidance linked to the coronavirus situation. The advice can be amended as the situation evolves, so please check for the most up-to-date information. Feel free to also look through the National Rail Enquiries Q&A.

Simple things to remember

  1. Do not travel if unwell or have symptoms
  2. Wash your hands regularly
  3. Avoid busiest times/routes
  4. Keep a safe distance while travelling when possible
  5. Wear a face covering unless you are exempt

Plan ahead, consider others and stay safe.

Examples of safety measures for Coronavirus

Cleaning and hygiene

  • Continuing to step up cleaning of our trains and stations, paying particular attention to high touch areas such as push buttons, door handles and grab rails.
  • We've invested in cleaning equipment - Fogging guns and vacuum backpacks.
  • Keeping soap, water and toilet paper topped up in our toilets on stations and trains.
  • Keeping toilets open wherever possible.
  • Discouraging the use of cash when buying tickets. We can still accept cash if you have no other means of payment.

Social distancing

  • Making trains as long as possible, so that passengers can spread out throughout them.
  • Reminding people to social distance on our trains through announcements and pre-departure messaging.
  • Constantly monitoring passenger numbers so that we can make trains longer or increase the frequency if necessary.
  • Making it clear how you can keep your distance at stations with signs, posters, floor markings and tape.
  • Putting in queue systems and one-way systems where necessary to control the number of people on platforms or in stations at a time.
  • Deploying staff at some busier stations to help you follow all appropriate social distancing guidelines.
  • Following all Government and Public Health England advice on keeping our customers safe.
  • Closing some facilities such as waiting rooms and some seating so that you can maintain appropriate social distancing.

Before you travel

  • Do not travel if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms or if you're clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot shield during your journey & have been advised by the NHS test and trace service that you should self-isolate. Please check the NHS website for information.​
  • Buy your ticket online or on our App on your phone and before you get to the station preferably, so that you minimise your time at the station. Read our blog to find out how easy it to buy cheap tickets online or on our app.
  • Although we encourage you to buy your ticket in advance, you are not required to make a reservation as reservations are not currently available because we're rolling out our new trains fleet. Please remember to socially distance when choosing a seat whilst on the train and not sit facing face to face with another person.

  • Please try and adjust your journey to avoid the busiest times, if possible. The peak periods are usually on Mondays to Fridays on trains arriving in London Liverpool Street between 07.00 and 09.00 and departing from London Liverpool Street between 16.30 and 19.00.

  • However, we are also providing specific details of the busiest trains at the moment, so please check this information using the less busy trains tool and try to choose another train if you can. These are more likely to be trains to/from London Liverpool Street in the peak periods, but if there are other trains, such as into key regional centres such as Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge, which are regularly very busy, they will be highlighted. If a train is not mentioned it is because it is not normally busy and/or there is plenty of available seating on it. We monitor trains every day, to ensure we keep the details up to date, so please check as the position may change over time.

When travelling

Hares keeping a safe distance apart

  • Wear a face covering on our trains and at our stations. This is mandatory unless you’re exempt. Failure can mean a £3200 maximum fine.
  • Follow all Government and NHS hygiene guidance.
    • Wash your hands.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue – and throw tissues in the bin.
    • There is liquid soap available at our stations and on-train toilets and hand sanitiser available at all of our stations which have a ticket office. Please bring your own hand sanitiser if it isn’t available at your station.
  • Comply with our queuing and one-way systems.
  • Sit apart from others on the train and spread out throughout the carriage. Sit near the window if possible. Follow instructions about how you can keep your distance – listen to announcements on our trains, read posters and follow floor markings at stations.
  • If you need to buy your ticket at the station, please use contactless payment.
  • Don’t leave your rubbish on the train or at the station, unless it’s in the bin so that our cleaners can spend more time cleaning than litter-picking. If you’re wearing a face mask or gloves, please don’t discard them on the train or at our stations.
  • Listen to our staff. They’re trying to keep us all safe.
  • Stand back and let people off the train before you board the train. Use all available doors and move down the train. Please get on and off the train as quickly as you can.
  • Don’t congregate at the front of the train on the approach to London Liverpool Street. or Norwich.

  • Only one person in a lift at a time, please.

Other important info

  • If the last train is full and you are unable to board it, or train service disruption causes you to miss a scheduled connection for the last train, we will seek to provide replacement transport to get you to your destination station. Please contact a member of station staff or use the customer information contact facility available at the station (usually via the ticket vending machine) to seek assistance.
  • For the interest of your safety, when stations or trains are at full social distancing capacity, station teams may at times prevent customers from entering a station, platform or from boarding a specific service if social distancing is being severely compromised. If this occurs during service disruption, our control teams will decide on a train by train basis whether to remove scheduled stops to reduce the impact on social distancing as best as possible.
  • You should not board trains that you feel are too full and that you feel may therefore not be safe to travel on. Instead, you should wait for another train or speak to a member of staff.

The government has made the wearing of face coverings mandatory, unless exempt, in England on trains and at stations/transport hubs. A maximum fine of £6400 can apply. View more information.

  • A face covering vending machine can be found at London Liverpool Street station and many of our staffed stations may provide you with one if needed.

You are temporarily able to remove your face covering to eat and drink on the train or at stations, as long as you social distance and replace your covering when finished.

  • Our food and drink retailers at stations may not be open, so remember to bring a bottle of water and any food you may need for your journey.
  • If you're ordering food or drink on a train, please stand in the designated area and try to use contactless payment whenever possible. Whilst you're waiting to be called to collect your order, please move away from the bar so someone else can be served and make sure you don't block the aisle. View Catering information.

Our latest timetable started from 6 September saw changes to the Stansted Express service. This timetable continues the nearly full Greater Anglia service which came in to effect back in July 2020.

All ticket offices have re-opened. Normal ticket office hours apply, except for Newport, its opening hours are 06.30 to 09.30 Monday to Friday only.

Our ticket refund policy changed from 7 September 2020. View current policy.

Please book assistance a minimum of 12 hours before you travel. Sometimes it may not be possible to book in advance, in which case assistance will be available from stationed staff.

The call centre opening times have changed. You can contact the assisted travel line on Monday to Friday between 8am-8pm and 9am-5pm at weekends on 0800 028 2878 (free of charge) or via Textphone and Minicom: 18001 0800 028 2878.

If you need to request assistance outside of these times for travel the next day only, please call 0800 0223720.

Alternatively, you can submit a request online.

If your journey goes beyond our network and includes travel on other train operators' services, please book 24 hours before travelling so we can meet their notice period requirements.

Passenger assistance may change from pre-pandemic assistance to maintain social distancing. Some of the changes include:

  • Making sure that members of staff only make contact with passengers when it is absolutely necessary.
  • Reminding customers in wheelchairs that they need to face forward whenever possible.
  • Staff making sure that unless support is required, they are at least 2m away from customers whenever possible.
  • Staff making sure that they wipe the handles and brakes on the chair before and after they have made contact with them.

We also can provide turn up and go assistance to those who haven’t pre-booked.

All station and on train toilets are open as per their normal opening times. For more information on station facilities, please view our station information section.

As we are currently in the Covid Alert Level status from 5th November until 2nd December, the Tier restrictions are paused. For more information on these restrictions check the Government advice for travel.

If you live in England, you must stay at home and avoid travel in the UK or overseas, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If you need to travel you should look to reduce the number of journeys if possible.

However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:

  • Travelling to work where you cannot work from home
  • Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  • To visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • Hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • To buy goods or services from premises that are open, including essential retail
  • To spend time or exercise outdoors - this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • Attending the care and exercise of a pet, or veterinary services

If there are any restrictions affecting travel in the Greater Anglia network in future after Covid Alert level restrictions are lifted, then we will continue to keep this section of our website updated with the latest information and useful links.

When is the best time for students to travel back home?

In order for the risk of transmission to be as low as possible, the government have created a ‘student travel window’, which will begin once the national restrictions are lifted and will last from Thursday 03 December to Wednesday 09 December 2020.

Can I change my Advance ticket?

Students that have Advance tickets which were purchased on or before 11 November for journeys on or after 10 December 2020 can change their journey as follows:

  • Fee-free change of journey - The original origin and destination must stay the same, but customers can change the date and time of travel between 03 and 09 December. Customers will still be required to pay any fare difference.

How long do I have to change my Advance ticket?

If you would like to make changes to an existing Advance ticket, this must be done before Wednesday 9 December 2020. Any changes made after that date will be subject to the normal terms & conditions of the ticket type regarding changes.

For more information read our returning from uni blog