Rail Operators Insist on Face Masks

This page contains the latest information on Southern services during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes travel on the Marsh Link and South Easern have issued identical advice. Note that public transport for leisure travel is still not encouraged.

Before you travel, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. This will help keep the transport network running and allow people who need to make essential journeys to travel. If you need to travel you must wear a face covering and please always practise social distancing.

As the situation is changing regularly, we strongly advise that you always check before you travel. Information on rail services throughout the country is available on the National Rail websiteand the latest advice on Coronavirus is available from the NHS website, and from the government website.

Should I use public transport

As the advice relating to permitted reasons for travel change, it is important to remember that you should only travel by train if it’s really necessary. Work from home where possible, shop and exercise locally if you can and avoid public transport for leisure travel wherever possible. Because of social distancing, there is space for only one in ten of the normal passenger numbers. Please help us keep public transport free for those who really need it.

What should I do if I need to travel?

  • If you must travel, always practise social distancing, both while on the train and at the station
  • Plan your journey carefully in advance. Amended timetables are in operation. Timetables in PDF format are available below. Journey planners will only be updated a few days in advance – see the “check before you travel” banner at the top of this page for information
  • If possible, avoid travelling at peak times – changing your travel times may help you to social distance and reduce the chance of you having to queue
  • If you have special travel needs and require assistance, we strongly advise you to book in advance as we cannot guarantee the normal level of staffing. More information to help those requiring assistance is available further down this page
  • Check the current service status before you leave for the station. More information on how to avoid busy trains and stations is available below
  • Buy tickets online or use contactless where possible. See below for advice on buying a ticket
  • Wash your hands before and after you travel. Carry hand sanitiser with you if you can
  • You must wear face coverings on our services. From 15 June it will be mandatory to do so. For more information, follow this useful guide
  • Please follow any staff advice to ensure your safety. Be considerate of others and respect priority seating and wheelchair spaces
  • When boarding a train, please stand well back to allow those alighting to leave the train first
  • Sit in a part of the train where you can keep socially distanced and remain there throughout the journey. Moving to a different part of the train to exit more quickly may put you or others at risk. Please note that you may only travel in first class accommodation with a first-class ticket
  • When leaving the train, only move into the areas by the doors if there is space for you to maintain social distancing

What are we doing to make your journey safer?

  • We have employed additional staff to increase the amount of cleaning taking place overnight at all our depots
  • We are using new cleaning products proven to help stop the spread of Coronavirus
  • Trains are being checked and cleaned more regularly throughout the day. Measures are being taken to ensure all trains have water, soap and paper available in toilets before they start every journey. We also have measures in place to deep clean specific locations if required
  • We have stepped up cleaning regimes to ensure that all surfaces including handrails, ticket machine touch-screens and door handles are kept clean at all stations, with particular focus on our busiest locations
  • We have placed stickers on floors and posters in prominent locations to ensure social distancing in queuing systems
  • We are placing posters inside and stickers on exterior doors of all trains to assist our passengers in maintaining social distancing
  • Audio and visual announcements will be made at our stations to advise of any on-the-day crowding