Latest guidance in England
The government has announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant.
- From 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings.
- From 13 December office workers who can work from home should do so.
- From 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.
Latest update from 19 January 2022:
- From 19 January, you are no longer asked to work from home if you can. Talk to your employer to agree arrangements to return to your workplace.
- From 27 January, you will not be required to wear a face covering, including in communal areas of schools, but the government suggests you continue to wear one in crowded and indoor spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. You’ll no longer need to show your NHS COVID Pass at venues and events by law.
Face coverings compulsory on public transport
Face coverings must be worn over your nose and mouth when using public transport, including in buses, coaches, trains, taxis and indoor transport hubs such as enclosed bus stations, coach stations and rail stations. Exemptions apply.
When wearing a face covering:
- It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering
- If wearing a disposable face covering, use a ‘black bag’ waste bin or litter bin to dispose of it. You should not put face coverings in a recycling bin or drop them as litter
- Be mindful that a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound
- Before travelling, check the guidance on how to stay safe and prevent the spread
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters
You may wish to consider the following in order to help you to travel safely:
- Plan your journey in advance and check if there are any planned disruptions to your route
- Check with your operator regarding any policies they may have in place, you can find contact details in our help centre
- Open or keep windows open for ventilation where it is possible for you to do so
- Wash or sanitise your hands regularly
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing
- Dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings
You must not travel at all if you
- have been told by the NHS Test and Trace service to self-isolate
- are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild
- are self-isolating
Find out whether you need to self-isolate and how you can protect others if:
- you live with someone who has or might have COVID-19
- you’ve been in contact with someone who has or might have COVID-19 but you do not live with them
If you get any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.
This guidance applies to England only.
If you are crossing from England into Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you should plan ahead and ensure you understand and comply with the rules for the whole of your journey.
Safer travel guidance
When travelling, you may decide to walk or cycle to your destination or for part of your journey.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands before and after cycling.
- Plan your journey in advance using our journey planner;
- Check with your operator regarding any policies they may have in place, you can find contact details in our help centre;
- Check the status of your bus service in advance, or check for any planned changes, on our Bus disruptions page;
- Current and upcoming bus timetables can be found on our Routes & Timetables page. Simply change between Timetable Option to see what’s available;
- Plan your journey in advance and check the status of rail services on the National Rail Enquiries website;
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app before travelling.
On your journey:
- wait for passengers to get off first before you board;
- please open windows to help with ventilation;
- face coverings are required on public transport, exemptions apply. Visit Gov.UK for a full list of exemptions;
- wash or sanitise your hands regularly;
- avoid touching your face;
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing;
- avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible;
- be aware that some individuals may have hidden disabilities;
- choose contactless payment to buy tickets, where possible.
Always wash and sanitise your hands for 20 seconds before and after your journey.
- Where possible, check in using the NHS COVID-19 app if you enter a venue that has an official NHS COVID-19 QR code poster at the entrance – alternatively, you can provide your contact details.
Seek assistance if you need it
If you require assistance when travelling, contact your transport operator as you would normally do. Assistance is still being provided, but bus operators may be providing it in a different way. To find out who runs your bus service and their contact/website details, please use the search on this page.
It is recommended you wear a face covering when travelling in a private vehicle with people you do not usually meet.
Plan your route, including any breaks, before setting out.
Download the NHS COVID-19 app, if possible.
On your journey, open windows to let fresh air in where possible.
At garages, petrol stations and motorway services, where possible, check in using the NHS COVID-19 app if you enter a venue that has an official NHS COVID-19 QR code poster at the entrance. Alternatively, you can provide your contact details.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands often, and always when exiting or re-entering your vehicle.
Even after you have received a vaccine, you should continue to follow this guidance on how to travel safely when using taxis or private hire vehicles.
Follow the advice of the operator and driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone. You may want to check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place.
You must wear a face covering when using a taxi or private hire vehicle. Unless you’re exempt.
You should use contactless payment if possible, or find out if you can pay online in advance.
Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
Where possible open windows for ventilation when in the vehicle.
When finishing your journey, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible.
Frequently asked questions
How are you keeping passengers safe at bus stops and buses?
Bus services are operated by commercial operators, all of them are carrying out extra cleaning of their buses. Some bus operators may be providing hand sanitiser on board. If you’d like more information, find out who runs your bus service and their contact/website details.
Bus stops are managed by Local Authorities.
Can I pay with cash on the bus?
We are encouraging everyone to pay by contactless if they can. Most services will be accepting cash on board, but to minimise risk of transmission please use the correct change. Contact the bus operator in advance if you’d like more information. Find out who runs your bus service and their contact/website details.
I have more questions about bus services, how can I contact you? What are your opening times?
For any bus service queries, please contact the bus operator or visit their website. Find out who runs your bus service and their contact/website details.
Two major bus operators in the West of England have launched an update to their mobile apps which allows passengers to see live locations and capacity for their buses.
For more information, and links to download their apps, please visit the following pages (external):