Transport for Wales Coronavirus Travel Guidance

Transport for Wales have compiled the below list of FAQs on the use of public transport during the current coronavirus crisis in line with latest Welsh Government guidelines.

Other useful links:

Bus Operator Coronavirus Travel Guidance

Coronavirus Transport Service Updates

TFW Travel Safer

 

Are there any coronavirus restrictions to travelling on public transport?

Can I travel abroad?

Are services very busy over the summer holidays?

I need assistance when travelling on public transport– is help available?

How can I be sure that public transport services are clean?

What security measures are in place on public transport?

Will I have to wear a face covering when I travel on public transport?  

Do I need to wear my face covering when the train crossing into England?

It’s not the law in England, so why do I have to wear a face covering when my train crosses the border?

Will I be refused travel if I don’t wear a face covering?

Will my children need to wear a face covering on public transport?

Where can I find out the list of full exemptions for face coverings?

Do I need to wear a face covering while waiting for a train?

Do I need to wear a face covering while waiting at the bus stop?

Will I be able to pick up a face covering from the train station or on the bus?

Do public transport staff have to wear a face covering?

What if I experience anti-social behaviour for not wearing a face covering?

My husband is deaf, will I be able to remove my face covering to communicate with him?

Will I be able to remove my face covering to eat or drink? 

What if I begin to feel ill while travelling, will I be able to remove my face covering?

Will social distancing be in place on public transport?

What is the Capacity Checker?

Why are you phasing out the social distancing measures?

Now that social distancing is in the process of being removed, this makes me feel anxious to travel? 

Will all seats be available to use onboard?

I don’t need to commute everyday anymore, what’s the best ticket to buy to help me save money?

Do I still need to wear a face covering if I've had the Covid vaccine?

Do I need to have had a negative test to travel?

Do I need to have had a vaccine to travel on public transport?

Will my temperature be taken before travel?

Is there a track and trace system in place on public transport, like in restaurants and cafés?

Why are you not running of the same services as pre-pandemic?

Do you know when services will return to 100%?

Why can’t you put on extra trains or buses?

Are you putting on rail replacement buses instead?

Why can’t you use more carriages on the busier trains?

When will you stop not calling at certain stations?

Why did you stop calling at them?

Is ‘contactless’ the only way to pay for tickets?

How far ahead can I search for a journey?

Can I get a refund on my season ticket?

Is onboard catering available on the trains now?

Will toilets and waiting rooms be open at stations?

What is the fflecsi service?

I travel by Taxi, will I need to wear a face covering?

I don’t drive, but my colleague has offered me a lift into work – is car share allowed?

Is Community Transport Association still running its services?

What forms of travel do you recommend in place of buses or trains?

Where can I find help on planning my active travel journey?

I don’t own a bicycle but would like to cycle, is any help available?

My home isn’t a safe place, where can I go for help about domestic violence?

 

 

Are there any coronavirus restrictions to travelling on public transport?

While a number of the coronavirus travel restrictions have been removed across the UK, it remains the law in Wales to wear a face covering when using public transport.

You can find the latest guidance for Wales here.

You’ll need to follow the guidance for EnglandScotland and Northern Ireland when travelling in these areas.

With more of us using public transport we’re encouraging everyone to continue to travel safer and be a responsible traveller by:

Before you travel

  • Plan your journey. Some of our services can be busy especially during rush hour, at weekends and when the weather is good. Find trains with space: www.tfwrail.wales/capacity-checker
  • Work at home if you can.
  • Go contactless and buy your ticket from the TfWRail app or from your bus operator website. Ticket checks are in operation.
  • Don’t travel if you’re feeling unwell
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before and after you board

During your journey

  • Wear a face covering on our trains or at our stations unless you’re exempt 
  • Please remember it’s the law in Wales 
  • Walk or cycle on shorter journeys if you can.
  • Keep any windows open to help ventilation.
  • Be respectful – anti-social behaviour isn’t acceptable anywhere on our network.
  • Keep your distance – Coronavirus is still in our communities, help us continue to Keep Wales Safe by keeping a respectful distance from others if you can. 

 

 

Can I travel abroad?

The Welsh Government advises against travelling abroad, unless for essential purposes. You can view the latest rules for foreign travel to and from Wales, here.

 

 

Are services very busy over the summer holidays?

Yes. Some destinations, such as the beach and costal destinations, are very busy at certain times, especially if the weather is good.

If you’re concerned about being in a closed space with lots of other people, please consider locations that may not be as popular during busy periods. When you’ve decided on your location, please make sure you plan your journeys in advance. 

Do you need some inspiration or ideas of where to go? There’s never been a better time to explore our own homeland, and our partner Visit Wales has lots of information on holidays, short breaks and wonderful weekends in Wales, here.

 

 

I need assistance when travelling on public transport– is help available?

Yes, it is. Colleagues are available to provide help, wherever possible, to help you get to your destination safely. 

While it’s not a requirement to book ahead, we strongly recommend that you call 0333 3211 202 if you’re planning on travelling by train, or please contact your bus operator to discuss your journey as soon as possible. You can find details on Traveline Cymru’s website here.

 

 

How can I be sure that public transport services are clean?

Public transport vehicles and trains are continuing to be thoroughly cleaned in line with the Welsh Government’s guidelines. Our Cleaning teams are regularly and thoroughly cleaning heavily used areas such as tables, handles, ticket machines and anywhere passengers may regularly touch, this includes station areas. There’s been research published to highlight the safety on trains and at stations, and you can read a recent BBC report here.

 

 

What security measures are in place on public transport?

We’ve a zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour, and we ask that all passengers always respect fellow commuters and public transport staff. 

We’re continuing to work very closely with the British Transport Police (BTP), who are there to offer support in tackling any criminal incidents on the rail network and help with educating passengers on the importance of following the physical distancing measures.

You can report an incident on the rail network either safely alerting a member of staff or by calling the BTP on0800 40 50 60 or by texting 60106. 

If you experience problems when travelling by bus, please safely alert your driver who will follow the protocols in place and radio for assistance, where necessary. 

 

 

Will I have to wear a face covering when I travel on public transport?  

Yes. It remains law in Wales that you must wear a face covering for the duration of your journey on public transport, unless you’re exempt. It’s the right thing to do, to protect those who are still vulnerable from coronavirus.

Please bring a face covering with you and put it on before:

  • going into a covered station car park
  • going into a station building
  • going into covered areas 
  • using a waiting room or toilet
  • getting on your bus or train

There is no requirement to wear a face covering whilst on a train platform.

Children under the age of 11, people with breathing difficulties or people with a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability don’t have to wear a face covering.

You can view the Welsh Government’s full list of exemptions here. You can find information about our new personalised exemption note scheme here.

Face coverings: frequently asked questions.

 

 

Do I need to wear my face covering when the train crossing into England?

Yes, you must wear a face covering on all our services for the whole of your journey, unless you’re exempt. It’s the law in Wales.

 

 

It’s not the law in England, so why do I have to wear a face covering when my train crosses the border?

We’ve made the decision to help keep the network as safe as possible for our customers and colleagues, and in line with the Welsh Government guidance, to continue to make the wearing of face coverings mandatory during the whole duration of the journey. This includes all our services which cross into England. It’s the law in Wales.

You’ll need to check with your bus operator on what guidance they have in place for any cross-border journeys.  

Whilst the requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted in England, the UK government does expect and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. You can view the latest guidance for England here.

 


Will I be refused travel if I don’t wear a face covering?

Wearing a face covering on public transport remains law in Wales, so you could be fined or refused travel if you’re not wearing a face covering, unless you’re exempt. We’ve already stopped thousands of people traveling in Wales for not wearing a face covering (and not being exempt).

You can find out more about our exemption note here.

 

 

Will my children need to wear a face covering on public transport?

If they’re over the age of 11, yes, they’ll need to wear a face covering on the bus or the train, unless they’re exempt. 

Please make sure they’re wearing an appropriately sized face coverings to make sure it provides the necessary protection. 

For hidden disabilities, the sunflower lanyard can discreetly show people including staff and fellow passengers that additional help and support may be needed. More information is available here.  

You can find out more and apply for our exemption note here.

 

 

Where can I find out the list of full exemptions for face coverings?

You can view the Welsh Government’s full list of exemptions here.

For hidden disabilities, the sunflower lanyard can discreetly show people including staff and fellow passengers that additional help and support may be needed. More information is available here.  You can also find out more and apply for our exemption note here.

 

 

Do I need to wear a face covering while waiting for a train?

Yes, you will unless you’re exempt. Face coverings continue to be a legal requirement in indoor and covered public spaces in Wales.

If your station is in England, the UK government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. You can view the latest guidance here.

 

 

Do I need to wear a face covering while waiting at the bus stop?

You don’t have to wear the face covering at an outdoor bus stop until you’re getting ready to board the bus. 

Face coverings continue to be a legal requirement in indoor public spaces in Wales, so this would apply to bus stations or in covered bus stops.

 

 

Will I be able to pick up a face covering from the train station or on the bus?

Whilst some of the shops in and near the train and bus stations may sell face coverings, transport operators don’t provide face coverings onboard. 

 

 

Do public transport staff have to wear a face covering?

Yes, public transport staff must continue to wear a face covering in enclosed public areas and on public transport, unless they’re exempt.

 

 

What if I experience anti-social behaviour for not wearing a face covering?

Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated on our public transport network, and as part of our ‘Travel Safer’ campaign we’re asking everyone to be respectful of one another, as well as highlight that not everyone can wear a face covering. But, if you’re exempt from wearing a face covering and you’d like to carry notification to show people, just in case, you can find out more information here

If you do experience any anti-social behaviour, please notify one of our colleagues as soon as possible.  We’re also continuing to work closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) to keep the network safe. You can contact BTP directly on 0800 40 50 40 or you can discretely text them on 61016.

 


My husband is deaf, will I be able to remove my face covering to communicate with him?

You can, the Welsh Government appreciates that everyone’s situation is different, and in these cases, you’ll be able to remove your face covering if you need to communicate with your husband during your journey.

 

 

Will I be able to remove my face covering to eat or drink? 

You can remove your face covering to eat or drink, if it’s reasonably necessary - for example, if you’re on a long journey or you have medical needs. 

Please check with your bus operator if food and drink is allowed onboard.

 

 

What if I begin to feel ill while travelling, will I be able to remove my face covering?

You can, if you begin to feel ill and are concerned about your health and wellbeing or you need to take the necessary medication. Please alert a member of staff as soon as possible if you need medical assistance.

If you’re feeling unwell before you begin your journey, please don’t travel. 

 

 

Will social distancing be in place on public transport?

Social distancing requirements are in the process of being removed, in line with the latest government guidance. However, we’re continuing to ask all passengers to travel safer and be a responsible traveller by: 

  • Wearing a face covering for the whole of your journey including any indoor/covered station areas such as toilets and retail outlets, unless exempt (remember it’s the law in Wales) 
  • Don’t travel if you’re feeling unwell
  • If you can, work from home (remove the stay local). For shorter journeys walk, wheel or cycle
  • Plan ahead, some services are busy especially during rush hour, on weekends, and when the weather is good -especially on our coastal routes. You can find trains with space by visiting:  www.tfwrail.wales/capacity-checker or for the latest bus information visit www.traveline.cymru 
  • Go contactless and buy your ticket from the TfWRail app or check with your bus operator. Keep any windows open to help ventilation.
  • Be kind – anti social behaviour is not tolerated anywhere on our network.
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before and after you board.

If you’re concerned about being in a closed space with lots of other people, please consider locations that may not be as popular during busy periods. When you’ve decided on your location, please make sure you plan your journeys in advance and pre-book your tickets if you can. Our new Capacity Checker can help, you can find out more here

 

 

What is the Capacity Checker?

Our Capacity Checker tool tell you which trains are often full and which ones have plenty of seats available, helping you to plan ahead and decide what time is the best for you to travel.

You can find out more here.

 

 

Why are you phasing out the social distancing measures?

The safety of our customers and colleagues continues to be our top priority and we’re carrying out regular risk assessments to make sure every is kept safe across the network.

We continue to work in line with the latest Welsh Government guidance, which at level zero, has allowed us to review the social distancing measures that have been in place since the start of the pandemic. We’ve reviewed this in light of the reducing risk of covid-19, versus the increasing demand for our services.

Our key messages to travel safer and be a responsible passenger remain in place to help keep everyone as safe as possible.

Face coverings remain law on public transport in Wales for everyone, unless you’re exempt, and this is important as it’s likely you may be close to other passengers onboard on busier routes.

 

 

Now that social distancing is in the process of being removed, this makes me feel anxious to travel? 

The safety of you, our customers and our colleagues remain our top priority. We appreciate that everyone has been affected by the pandemic in different ways and our colleagues and our partners, the British Transport Police, will continue to be on hand to support passengers in making them feel safe during their journey.

If you’re concerned about being in a closed space with lots of other people, please consider locations that may not be as popular or avoid travelling during busier periods, if you can. When you’ve decided on your location, please make sure you plan your journeys in advance and pre-book your tickets if you can. 

Our new Capacity Checker can help with train journeys, you can find out more here

You can find more information on bus services via traveline.cymru

 

 

Will all seats be available to use onboard?

Yes, there’ll be no restrictions to the number of seats we can make available onboard – we’re able to use the maximum capacity.

If you’re concerned about being in a closed space with lots of other people, please consider locations that may not be as popular or avoid travelling during busier periods, if you can. When you’ve decided on your location, please make sure you plan your journeys in advance and pre-book your tickets if you can. 

Our new Capacity Checker can help with train journeys, you can find out more here

You can find more information on bus services via traveline.cymru

 

 

I don’t need to commute everyday anymore, what’s the best ticket to buy to help me save money?

If you're working from home more and travelling to work less, you could save money with our Multiflex train tickets. With 12 single journey tickets that can be used in either direction between your chosen starting and destination stations, this ticket is ideal for part-time workers and those who now spend less time working from the office.

Multiflex gives you 12 single journeys for the same price as 5 returns, offering amazing flexibility and really low fares. 

Valid for 3 months after purchase, our Multiflex tickets are completely contactless. Buy Multiflex tickets on our app or website, and your tickets will be automatically downloaded onto your app account. All you have to do is activate your ticket before each journey. You can find out more here.

Many of the bus operators have similar tickets available. Please check with your bus operator directly about any saving tickets they may have available. 

 

 

Do I still need to wear a face covering if I've had the Covid vaccine?

Yes. Public health guidance is that you may still be able to spread the virus even if you don’t have any symptoms. So, all passengers, unless they’re exempt, must continue to wear a face covering on public transport even if they’ve had the vaccine.

 

 

Do I need to have had a negative test to travel?

No, you don’t need to take a Covid test to travel on public transport, but please don’t travel if you’re feeling unwell, even if you’re showing minor symptoms. 

If you’re showing symptoms, please follow the latest government guidance here.

 

 

Do I need to have had a vaccine to travel on public transport?

No, you don’t need to have had a covid vaccine to travel on public transport in the UK, but you must wear a face covering on our services unless you’re exempt. 

Please don’t travel if you’re feeling unwell, even if you’re showing minor symptoms. 

 

 

Will my temperature be taken before travel?

No, your temperature won’t be taken before you use public transport. If you have a high temperature or if you’re showing any symptoms of the coronavirus, please do not travel.

 

 

Is there a track and trace system in place on public transport, like in restaurants and cafés?

No, Due to the open nature of our network, with lots of unstaffed stations, this is not available on public transport. However, we’re encouraging people to avoid travelling if they’re feeling unwell or if they’re show any signs of symptoms, however minor. It’s also important that all passengers follow the guidance in place, including wearing a face covering.

 


Why are you not running of the same services as pre-pandemic?

We’re running fewer train services at the moment, but it’s important to stress that all of our trains are in use. The reasons why there’s still a reduction in services compared to pre-lockdown is due to:

  • some train services need to run with more carriages than normal to support busier routes 
  • we also need a little longer than usual to carry out our enhanced cleaning regimes 
  • our staff numbers continue to remain lower than normal due to covid-related absences, which means we’ve less of our people available to run our services

The old pacer trains have been removed from our fleet, to improve accessibility and comfort. Better replacement trains are gradually being introduced e.g., class 769 and 230


On peak time services, we’re currently operating at around 90% of the pre-covid timetable.

We’re continuing to work closely with the bus operators, the Welsh Government and local authorities to increase services that are most needed.  Additional funding has been made available to bus operators so that they can ramp up services where needed. 

To find out the latest timetable information for: 

Travelling by train
Travelling by bus

Please always allow extra time for your journey and double check journey details before you travel.

 

 

Do you know when services will return to 100%?

Not yet. Whilst we’re increasing our services in September to coincide with more people returning to workplaces, and schools reopening, there isn’t a definite date at the moment for the restoration of our full timetable.

The safety of our customers and our colleagues remain our top priority and our timetables have continued to be adapted to best support those who rely on public transport to get to and from work.

Our advice remains that people should carefully plan their journeys and avoid travelling at busier times where possible.

 

 

Why can’t you put on extra trains or buses?

Trains
We’re currently using extra capacity wherever possible.  All of the trains and carriages that we’ve available are being run on our services.


A lot of our train services need to run with more carriages than normal to allow for better social distancing onboard, and we need a little longer than usual to carry out our enhanced cleaning regimes to make sure we’re following government guidelines.  

Our staff numbers continue to remain lower than normal due to covid-related absences, which means we’ve less of our people available to run our services.

Buses
Bus operators are currently using extra capacity wherever possible. They’ve prioritised increasing services based upon the Welsh Government’s key priorities:

  • increasing frequencies where demand exceeds capacity
  • enhancing social inclusion through improving accessibility to jobs and services 
  • improves across our regions and communities
  • supporting learners to school or college (term time)

 

 

Are you putting on rail replacement buses instead?

We do put on rail replacement buses where possible. 

We also use some buses on standby for unplanned disruption.

 

 

Why can’t you use more carriages on the busier trains?

The safety of our customers and staff remains our top priority. A lot of our train services are running with more carriages than normal to allow for better social distancing, and we’re working with the British Transport Police to increase the onboard security presence on our trains.

We’re managing the capacity at stations, wherever possible, but not all our stations are staffed. To help keep the network as safe as possible, we’re asking passengers to play their part by following our Travel Safer guidance.

We’re closely monitoring changes in customer demand in order to inform any change to services across the network. 

 

 

When will you stop not calling at certain stations?

The arrangement, which saw our services not call at a small number of stations across the Wales and Borders network this last year, was only ever a temporary measure to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. The recent move to government guidance Level 0 has allowed us to review the social distancing measures that have been in place since the start of the pandemic and we can now confirm that: 

  • From the 21 August, trains will call at Valley, Llanfair PG, Sugarloaf, Gilfach Fargoed, Llanbedr, Abererch, Yorton, Prees, all West Midlands local stations and some Conwy services
  • From 12 September, trains will call at Conwy (all services) and the Cambrian line will have a rail replacement bus service due to the Barmouth Viaduct engineering work
  • From the 12 December, engineering work on the Cambrian line will conclude and the trains will call again at all stations (Llanaber, Abererch, Llandanwg, Llanbedr, Tygwyn)

 

 

Why did you stop calling at them?

With these particular stations, the platforms are shorter than the train formation and therefore the conductor is unable to use a second set of doors.  Instead, the conductor is required to pass through the train to reach the doors that allow customers to alight/board. Due to the (then) current law on social distancing in the work place, a conductor was not able to maintain enough space walking through the train and potentially not be able to adhere to this law.

We’re encouraging everyone to check before they travel and use our capacity checker.

 

 

Is ‘contactless’ the only way to pay for tickets?

No, but it’s the preferred option. Wherever possible, please buy your ticket online or pay by contactless at the ticket office or when you board your bus. 

 


How far ahead can I search for a journey?

We’re advising passengers to check timetables within 6 weeks of when they plan to travel. 
For rail travel - tfwrail.wales
For bus travel -  traveline.cymru

Please check before you travel as we’re running a reduced number of rail services and some services may also change or be cancelled at short notice.

Rail services from Wales to England or those operated by TfW in England will not change.

 

 

Can I get a refund on my season ticket?

Yes. You can find out the details on how you can get a refund at https://tfwrail.wales/ticket-refunds.

For refunds on buses, please contact your bus operator directly or visit traveline.cymru.

 


Is onboard catering available on the trains now?

Onboard buffet services are not available at the moment, but we’re looking to reintroduce services as soon as we can.

We are operating a buffet only catering provision on two off our Mark IV services during Monday-Friday between Holyhead and Cardiff.

 

 

Will toilets and waiting rooms be open at stations?

Yes, waiting rooms and toilets should be open. Hand wash and hand sanitiser should also be available to use. Please speak to the station ticket desk if you have any queries.

 

 

What is the fflecsi service?

Our fflecsi service is a pilot service working in partnership with local bus operators and local councils, it replaces a number of scheduled bus services.

Safety is our top priority, and we’ve designed fflecsi to transport passengers as safely as possible. Knowing how many passengers we’re picking up means we can send the right size vehicle and maintain physical distancing.

The pilot service is proving to be working well and is currently being piloted in:

  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Cardiff north
  • Conwy
  • Denbigh
  • Newport
  • Rhondda 
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Prestatyn
  • Flintshire
  • Llyn Peninsula

The fflecsi service runs throughout the week and allows you to choose when you want to travel. Some fflecsi services could continue to run alongside your normal scheduled bus services in the future. 

To find out more download the App, visit the website or call 0300 234 0300.

 

 

I travel by Taxi, will I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, wearing a face covering on public transport remains law in Wales unless you’re exempt from doing so. Please check with your Taxi operator if you have any further queries.  

 

 

I don’t drive, but my colleague has offered me a lift into work – is car share allowed?

Yes, you can. Please also consider whether you can cycle or walk to your destination or use public transport.

There are some things you can do to help minimise the safety risks:

  • wear a face covering if you can keep the number of passengers to a minimum
  • keep windows open for good ventilation
  • face away from other passengers, wherever possible
  • vehicle should be cleaned regularly using standard cleaning products with focus on high contact areas, such as door handles

 

 

Is Community Transport Association still running its services?

To find out what services are running in your area, please contact the Community -Transport Association (CTA) between 10am – 4pm Monday – Friday, by emailing your query to advice@ctauk.org.

More information is also available on their website here

 

 

What forms of travel do you recommend in place of buses or trains?

We’re encouraging people, wherever possible, to use active travel for short journeys to help reduce pressure on public transport.

You may have heard the term ‘Active Travel’ being used, this refers to when you make a journey by walking or cycling for a purpose such as travelling to work, to school, to the shops or to bus and rail stations. Walking and cycling has proven health and well-being benefits, so you’ll be getting in your daily exercise while you travel.

 

 

Where can I find help on planning my active travel journey?

Help with planning your journey on foot or by bicycle is available through the Traveline Cymru website. You can also download the Traveline Cymru app for free or call their Freephone number 0800 464 00 00. Alternatively, Google Maps and Komoot offer free journey planning functions that cater for journeys on foot or by bicycle.

Information on active travel routes in your area is also available from your local Council’s website, details of which can be found here.

To check whether you live near the National Cycle Network you can visit the Sustrans website.

Local councils across Wales are also being encouraged to install temporary facilities to make it easier for people to walk and cycle and Sustrans have developed a tool to help you see what’s being implemented in your area here.  

 

 

I don’t own a bicycle but would like to cycle, is any help available?

Public bike share schemes, such as Nextbike, are available in a small number of local councils in Wales, where you can hire a bike to get you from a to b. To find out more about Nextbike, and how to stay safe whilst using their service during COVID-19, visit their website here.

If you’re a key worker in Cardiff, you can also now get a free Nextbike membership and further details are available here.

Other local schemes may also be available in your area, please check your local council’s website for further information.

 

 

My home isn’t a safe place, where can I go for help about domestic violence?

We’ve signed up to the ‘Rail to Refuge’ UK scheme in support of Women’s Aid, which offers to cover the cost of train travel for anyone who needs to flee domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis.

You can find out more here.