Passengers must wear a face covering when travelling on the Merseyrail network, from the point of entering the grounds of a station, until exiting the network to protect staff and other passengers as it may not be always be possible to socially distance. Failure to do so may result in a fine up to £6,400.
Passengers are required to provide their own face covering and to continue practising social distancing wherever possible.
We know that some passengers have medical conditions or disabilities that prevents them from wearing a face covering. In line with government guidance you will still be able to travel without a covering, but should continue to follow social distancing guidance and hygiene measures where you can do so.
We would encourage you to use one of our face covering exemption cards which you can show to a member of staff when necessary, find out more here.
More information on the government guidance can be found here.
A travel questionnaire can be found here for anyone who is thinking about making a journey by train. We have also produced a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help you.
The fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk of coronavirus is via the government's track and trace app. Learn more here.
Please use the government's postcode checker here that can inform you of the restrictions in your area.
What is the government guidance on wearing face coverings?
Government guidance states that face coverings must be worn at all times when travelling on public transport at all points during the journey. On the Merseyrail network passengers must wear a face covering unless exempt from the point of entering the grounds of a station, until exiting the network, as it may not be possible to socially distance at all times. Failure to comply may result in a fine of upto £6400. More information on the government guidance can be found here.
Do I need to wear a face covering? If so where do I get one? Will a scarf do?
Passengers must wear a face covering while using public transport unless they are exempt. All customers travelling on Merseyrail must wear a face covering both within our stations and on our trains. This is because it may not be possible to socially distance at all points throughout a journey. A maximum £6,400 fine applies.
You should visit www.gov.uk for the latest guidance on masks and coverings. We do have a range of masks for sale at all staffed ticket offices, however we do expect most passengers to bring their own.
What happens if I do not have a face covering with me?
If you are seen by railway staff without a face covering during your journey or refuse to wear one whilst travelling with us, you will be politely reminded about the need to do so. Anyone not wearing a face covering who isn't exempt is liable to receive a £200 fine for a first offence which will double at each offence with a maximum fine of £6,400 from the British Transport Police.
Face coverings are widely available online and we would advise customers to purchase one before they travel with us. We do have a range of masks for sale at all staffed ticket offices, however we do expect most passengers to bring their own.
I have a medical condition that means I cannot wear a face covering, can I still travel?
We know that some passengers have illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face covering. These include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Conditions affecting dexterity
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders
- Visual impairments or with a restricted field of vision
- Anyone reliant on lip reading – including companions or carers for whom a face covering would impede their ability to communicate
In line with government guidance (which can be found here) you will still be able to travel without the need for a covering but should continue to follow all social distancing guidance and hygiene measures where you can do so.
You may still be approached by a member of our team and asked why you are not wearing a face covering. You may choose to use one of our face covering exemption cards which you can show to a member of staff when necessary.
More information on face covering exemption cards is available here.
I am travelling with children, do they need to wear face coverings?
Children under the age of 11 do not have to wear face coverings but may of course do so, should they wish to.
I need to drink something or make myself understood more clearly when speaking to your staff, can I remove my face mask to do so?
Current government guidance (which can be found here) makes clear that passengers are allowed to remove their face covering for a short period of time for any reasonable reason.
Will railway staff be wearing face coverings?
Our team will be wearing face coverings where appropriate. In line with government guidance our ticket office staff, located behind glass, will not need to wear a covering, nor will drivers or guards when they are alone in their compartments on train. Please bear in mind that some staff may also have medical conditions or disabilities that mean they can’t wear one.
I’ve seen someone breaking the rules and not wearing a face covering, what do I do? Do I need to tell you? Should I confront them myself?
We are continuing to ask that passengers act in a respectful manner towards each other and our staff at all times whilst travelling with us. We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing a face covering and wearing it while in stations and on trains.
If our team see a customer without a face covering, our staff will engage, explain, and encourage them to wear a covering. We have processes in place to deal with such circumstances. If you do have any concerns, please do speak to a member of staff in the first instance.
Please do not confront other passengers who are not wearing a face covering. Please be aware that some passengers may not be able to wear a covering due to a medical condition. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a covering , people should keep their distance – at least two metres, if possible.
What extra measures have you put in place to keep me safe?
We are cleaning trains and stations throughout the day, every day using specialist cleaning products that kill pathogens on surfaces. We are carrying out overnight deep cleans, as well as additional quality assurance procedures and spot checks to ensure that our cleaning processes are consistent and completed to the highest standard.
There are also increased cleaning teams working on weekends in response to when more passengers are travelling.
The number of passengers on each train is being closely monitored so that 6-car services can be timetabled where they are needed most.
Social distancing signage is in place on our floors, escalators and lifts to aid in keeping passengers and staff apart.
It may not be possible to socially distance at all points throughout a journey, so we are asking people to follow government guidance and wear a face covering whilst travelling.