Face coverings

In crowded spaces, wear a face covering out of respect to others.

In line with the latest Government Guidance, you are expected to wear a face covering in crowded places out of respect to others. Wearing your face covering in crowded indoor settings, such as a busy train remains a sensible step to protect yourself and those around you from contracting coronavirus.

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Children aged under 11
  • Breathing difficulties, eg. asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Conditions affecting dexterity and the ability to use your hands
  • Mental health conditions, including anxiety or panic disorder
  • Autism
  • Dementia
  • Visual impairments or people with a restricted field of vision
  • Anyone reliant on lip reading, including companions or carers where a face covering would prevent communication
  • People needing to take medication whilst travelling, they are permitted to remove their face covering to do

Supporting our customers

We recognise that some of our passengers who are not able to wear a face covering may feel uncomfortable while travelling.

To help with this, we encourage any passenger to use one of following tools or schemes.

The following are not a prerequisite for travel, but it may give the wearer confidence if they are approached and challenged. Our staff are briefed on these and the detailed exemption criteria.

Sunflower lanyard or card scheme

The sunflower lanyard is recognised across the transport sector as a discreet way to indicate the wearer may have additional needs that are hidden or not immediately visible.

Customers can collect a sunflower lanyard free of charge at many larger stations on the railway network. Please ask a member of station staff for more details or see the Hidden Disabilities site for more information.

Other recognised schemes

Passengers who do not wish to wear a lanyard but would like another way to discreetly indicate their condition if asked, can:

  • Carry a JAM card – this stands for ‘Just A Minute’ and is used by many people with autism and communication barriers
  • Carry a Passenger Support Card – available here
  • Carry a government official exemption card or badge – available here

We ask our passengers to be considerate when travelling with someone who is not wearing a face covering. Please note that some railway staff, particularly those isolated from others such as train drivers, may also not be able to wear a face covering.