Following government advice, you must wear a face covering onboard trains and at stations.

  • Wearing a face covering on public transport is required by law and everyone has responsibility for abiding by this requirement
  • Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can get fined between £200 and £6,400 from the police or Transport for London enforcement officers. You can see a full list of exemptions from the government here.
  • Please don’t forget there are legitimate exemptions for good reasons, so no-one can make judgments about an individual who isn’t wearing a face covering
  • We at c2c are playing our part by informing and encouraging people that face coverings are required onboard. There’s a lot of existing information promoting this at our stations, on our website and social media, but we will be going further as more people return to commuting – so look out for even more signs and announcements soon
  • We have given away thousands of face coverings for free in recent weeks, but this won’t last forever: please get used to taking personal responsibility and bringing your own
  • One power we don’t have is to enforce face coverings by fining people or ejecting them from the network. This power is reserved for British Transport Police alone

Information on what type of face covering is appropriate has been provided by Public Health England here.

More information on how to travel safely if you are making a necessary journey can be found on our Coronavirus travel information page.

Q. Why are some of your staff not wearing face coverings?

We recommend our colleagues wear face coverings, and have provided them. However they are exempt from the legislation on mandatory face coverings, so this is a personal choice for our colleagues. This is because our staff are working 8-hour or 12-hour shifts, and so it may not be appropriate for them to wear face coverings for all this time. This is a different matter to customers, who are typically making shorter journeys of only up to one hour.

Q. What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering?

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can get fined up to £6,400 by the police or Transport for London enforcement officers. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, people should keep their distance – at least two metres, if possible.

Q. If I want to report someone who isn’t wearing a face covering, what should I do?

If a passenger wishes to report someone for not wearing a face covering, they can alert a member of railway staff or a member of the British Transport Police.

Q. If face coverings are compulsory, do train operators have to supply them, or at least have them for sale, before they board?

No. There is no legal obligation on operators to provide face coverings. The government offers this advice on wearing and making a face covering. At its very simplest, you can wear something that covers your mouth and your nose, and that minimises your ability to touch your face. Remember that face coverings are one more measure to help you keep healthy, along with washing your hands and social distancing.

Q. Do children require face coverings?

Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.

Q. Are you doing this just to reduce the need for social distancing?

No. We are doing this to further reduce the risk of infection. Used properly, face coverings can help prevent the spread of the disease. Social distancing and good hand hygiene are still very important.

Q. What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability?

You can still use public transport. We also have Face Mask Exempt badges available at stations if it would help you feel more confident when travelleing. We want people to be able to travel with dignity and our staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability.

Q. What disabilities are exempt?

People with a disability or illness that means that they cannot wear a face covering can still travel by train. However, we do not have a definitive list of which illnesses or disabilities make a person exempt. We are asking our staff to be considerate when using their discretion and would consider that customers living with conditions such as PTSD, asthma etc. will not be expected to wear a face covering. We are asking customers with a disability or illness who can wear a mask to please do so. Have a look at our Face Covering Exempt badge page to apply for a badge if you are exempt. Full guidance is available from the government here.

Q. Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering. How will you make sure people aren’t just claiming to have an illness in order not to wear one?

As with all laws, first of all we are going to be relying on people acting responsibly and doing the right thing – helping to protect others by wearing a face covering. If we suspect people are falsely claiming to have an illness so as not to wear a face covering, we reserve the right to refuse to let them travel. The regulations will provide a broad exemption for people who have a reasonable excuse not to wear face coverings, rather than a detailed list of who is exempt. People are expected to behave responsibly.

Q. Why haven’t you done this before now?

Making face coverings compulsory is a sensible step to take as more people start to return to travelling by train and as social distancing at all points of a journey therefore becomes more difficult.