If your journey is essential, so is covering your face

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Customers making essential journeys must wear face coverings when travelling on Scotland’s Railway from Monday after the Scottish Government made their use mandatory on public transport.

The announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out the rules for the use of face coverings, making them mandatory for everyone in public areas in stations and on trains, apart from children under five and people with specific medical reasons.

To support customers, face masks will be available free of charge from Monday at all major stations for a limited period, to help people get used to the new normal for rail travel.

Staff across Scotland’s Railway have been provided with face coverings, masks, and visors to help keep them, and customers, safe.

ScotRail is also urging customers to take collective responsibility and continue following its five rules for safer travel, as the train operator warns it can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey.

Customers are reminded that, while Scotland’s Railway has introduced significant measures to help, they must take personal responsibility for their travel choices, including covering their face at all stages of their journey. Scotland’s Railway cannot guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a customer’s journey.

The five rules for safer travel are:

•Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.
•Travel away from the main commuting times (0700 – 0900 and 1600 – 1830) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.
•If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.
•Wear a face mask or covering and, where possible, maintain physical distancing.
•Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said: ‘The position on face coverings is now absolutely clear and we are urging customers to take collective responsibility and follow the Scottish Government guidance on their mandatory use.

‘We are doing everything we can to help customers get used to the changes in rail travel and that’s why, for a limited time, we will be providing face masks at all major stations. But Scotland’s Railway can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a customer’s journey.

‘The message remains the same as it has been since the start of the pandemic: only travel if your journey is essential and follow our five rules for safer travel. It will help to keep you, your fellow customers, and our staff safe.’

Customers can expect an increase in the time it takes to buy a ticket at a station and board a train, and there may be occasions over the coming months when boarding their normal train may not be possible in busier times. Buying tickets in advance through the ScotRail app or website will reduce waiting time for customers.