Plan your journey
We continue to encourage you to stay within your local area, for exercise or other leisure activities if you can.
The public transport system continues to have limited capacity due to physical distancing and lower service provision. Therefore please think carefully about whether you need to use public transport for travel to exercise, meet friends and family or any other leisure activities.
It is important that you plan your journey and check with Traveline Scotland or your transport operator for the latest travel advice on your route. Your transport operator will also have information on the measures they have put in place to ensure your safety when travelling.
It is possible that travel may take longer than normal on some routes due to reduced capacity and physical distancing measures. You should therefore allow sufficient time especially if your journey involves changes between different forms of transport.
You are advised to plan ahead by identifying alternative routes and options in case of unexpected disruption.
If you can, you should travel at off-peak times which are likely to be less busy. If you are travelling to work your employer may agree alternative or flexible working hours to enable you to travel at less busy times.
Where possible, you should book your travel online through your transport provider’s ticketing app, smartcard or website. If you are unable to pay for tickets online you should consider contactless payment, if you can, or have the correct money available.
You should adhere to physical distancing from people who are not in your household if you are walking to a station or bus stop. You should also adhere to physical distancing whilst on public transport, at stations, terminals and stops. When staying 2 metres apart may not be possible, you should wear a face covering, unless exempt, keep the time you spend with others as short as possible and avoid physical contact.
We recommend you wash or sanitise your hands before starting and after finishing your journey.
On your journey – staying safe
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak some routes may have less space available than usual due to physical distancing measures or changes to previous timetables or schedules.
You should try to maintain physical distancing from others. There may be situations where this is not possible, for example when boarding or alighting, on busier services, busier times of the day and when walking through interchanges. If you cannot maintain physical distancing from others, you should avoid physical contact and keep the time you spend with others as short as possible.
If you are travelling with members of your household you should sit together where possible as that will free up space for other passengers.
You must wear a face covering when using public transport to prevent the transmission of the virus unless exempt. These include children under 5 years of age or those with particular health conditions who cannot wear face coverings safely. You do not have to prove that you are exempt to access places or services, you should not be made to wear a face-covering or denied access to places where face coverings are required.
You may remove your face covering if you need to take medication or to eat or drink where reasonably necessary. You should remove your face covering temporarily to comply with a request by a relevant person, such as a ticket examiner who needs to check identity in respect, for example, of a concessionary card.
You are expected to provide your own face covering. A face covering does not have to be a surgical or other medical-grade mask but must be a facial covering that securely covers your mouth, nose and chin. It is recommended that it be made of cloth or other textiles and should be two, and preferably three, layers thick and fit snugly while allowing you to breathe easily. Scarfs and religious face coverings that cover the mouth and the nose count as face coverings for these purposes. It will not be acceptable to pull a shirt, blouse, jumper or coat up to try and cover your nose and mouth. Likewise, face shields are not considered face coverings. You should wash or sanitise your hands before and after you apply or remove your face covering, and avoid touching your face. After each use, you must wash a fabric covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of it safely.
If you are not wearing a face covering without a reasonable excuse, you will be in breach of the law and may be liable, on summary conviction, to pay a fine.
When travelling comply with any signage or instructions on public transport or from transport staff as the safety measures in place are for everyone’s benefit. Signs and notices may include information about:
- which seats to use or how to queue
- any physical restrictions such as screens and barriers or floor markings
- requests to board through different doors or to move to less busy areas
- the reduced number of passengers allowed on vehicles because of physical distancing measures.
Face Covering Exemption Cards
If you would feel more comfortable showing something that says that you are exempt, you can request a face covering exemption card. The exemption card, physical or digital, is available via the free helpline 0800 121 6240 or online contact form via Disability Equality Scotland at www.exempt.scot.
You will be required to confirm that you have you read the Scottish Government Guidance on face coverings and that you are exempt before your request will be processed. The digital card cannot be downloaded from the website and will be sent to you via an email attachment or by post.
These cards can be presented as proof of exemption in Scotland and across the rest of the UK. Other exemption cards such as the UK Government exemption card, Thistle card and Sunflower lanyard are still valid as proof of exemption.
Be considerate to your fellow passengers and to transport staff:
- wait for passengers to get off first before you board
- do not congregate near entrances, exits, under canopies, at bus stops, on platforms or outside of stations
- be prepared to queue or take a different entrance or exit at stations
- respect other people’s space while travelling
- be aware of the impact of restrictions on the needs of fellow passengers who may have impairments, disabilities or mobility issues
- do not eat or drink, unless necessary on a long journey
- remember to take all your belongings and not leave any rubbish on tables or seats or other public areas.
If you cannot safely keep your distance on board a bus, train or tram, please wait for the next service. The bus driver, train staff or tram staff may have to ask you to wait for the next service, even when it does not appear necessary, due to reduced capacity and physical distancing measures. Your understanding and patience if this occurs will be appreciated by staff and your fellow passengers.
When travelling be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face and remember to cover your mouth with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing. If you have hand sanitiser, it is recommended you use it before, throughout and after your journey, particularly where you are likely to touch surfaces.
Seek assistance if you need it
If you require assistance when travelling and would normally contact your transport operator ahead of time, continue to do so, so they can prepare accordingly.
If any problems arise or you feel ill during your journey, speak to a member of transport staff. In the case of an emergency, contact the emergency services as you normally would.
If you need help, maintain physical distancing from members of staff. If this isn’t possible, you should wear a face covering, unless exempt, try to avoid physical contact, if possible, and keep the time you spend with members of staff as short as possible.
Physical distancing applies to children as well as adults. Children should maintain physical distancing from others who are not in their household. If this isn’t possible they should avoid physical contact and keep the time spent with others as short as possible. They should also wear a face covering, unless exempt.
If you are the responsible adult or carer travelling with children, please try to ensure that children observe physical distancing.
The Scottish Government has produced specific guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 which includes guidance around school transport. Passengers on public transport should be mindful that operators may designate specific zones for school children where physical distancing will not be required.
Completing your journey
When finishing your journey, you should deposit any of your used tissues, disposable face coverings or rubbish in bins. We recommend you wash or sanitise your hands (and children’s hands if you are travelling with them) as soon as possible.