Choose quieter times and routes to travel

Safer travel guidance

Follow Government guidelines

Consider walking and cycling. Continue to work from home where you can. Choose quieter times and routes to travel.

Find out more about what you can and cannot do on the Government website.

Safety and hygiene

If you are travelling, follow these safety and hygiene measures. They help protect you and everyone else on the transport network.

Find out how we're making bus journeys safer on the Using buses page.

Our cleaning regime

We have enhanced our cleaning regime. We are:

  • Using long-lasting hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact
  • Cleaning key interchanges more frequently throughout the day
  • Trialling continuous UV cleaning of escalator hand rails
  • Wiping down all touch surfaces on buses, such as poles and doors with strong disinfectant every day

Imperial College RNA sampling study

Since September 2020, Imperial College London has run monthly tests for all virus variants on the transport network. Sampling has taken place at a variety of stations and on buses and trains — with the locations changing for each round — and swabs taken from heavily touched areas and air tested for any airborne traces. None of the tests have found any traces of the virus.

Read the study.

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering, over your nose and mouth, for the full duration of journeys on the public transport network (and in taxis and private hire vehicles). If you do not, you could be denied travel, or receive a minimum £200 fine (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) which will double each time you are caught not wearing a face covering, up to £6,400.

Exemptions apply for age, health and disability reasons.

Find out more on our face coverings page.

Social distancing measures

Social distancing may be more difficult at certain points during busier times or if there are significant delays to services. It is mandatory to wear a face covering to help mitigate this.

If possible, consider travelling at quiet times when there is more space and use our travel tools for the latest information. If there are significant delays, consider other routes, or walking or cycling where possible.

Check the status of Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail, DLR, and tram services.

Signs, posters and platform stickers have been installed across the network to help everyone maintain social distancing. One-way systems and queuing arrangements are in use wherever needed.

Hand sanitiser points

We've added more than 1,000 hand sanitiser points to:

  • All Tube and TfL Rail stations
  • London Overground and DLR stations where it's safe to do so
  • All bus stations
  • Victoria Coach Station
  • All TfL River Piers
  • Woolwich Ferry
  • Emirates Air Line

Travel advice

If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

Consider using existing or new walking and cycling routes or check out our page of walking maps, which includes a map of walking routes around West End retail destinations, to get inspired.

Plan ahead with the TfL Go app or our Journey Planner and sign up for our email updates for more information.

Quieter times and places

Quieter times to travel on public transport are 08:15-16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends. These times may change as circumstances change.

Quieter times at local stations vary. Check how busy any station on the TfL network is, at any time of day.

Night travel

If you're travelling late at night, there is currently no Night Tube or Night Overground and there are limited Night Buses. Please plan your journey ahead of time.

Santander Cycles are available to hire 24 hours a day across central London. All Santander Cycles have built-in lights.

Taxi and private hire vehicles are running at night. You should wear a face covering for your entire journey.

Service levels

We are operating a near-normal service across the network to help social distancing for those who need to travel. Like other businesses, we may be affected by staff absence. This could mean some changes to service frequency or some short-notice station closures.

Payment at ticket machines

Some Tube and DLR stations are temporarily not accepting cash at ticket machines and only accept card payments.

If you need to use cash to top up or buy a ticket, you can do so at one of nearly 4,000 Oyster ticket stops. You can also top up using our free payments app and register your card online to set up auto-top-up. You can download a list of stations accepting cash below.

Ticket machines at all London Overground and TfL Rail stations are accepting cash.

Tube and rail changes

At some stations there will be queuing, and one-way systems are in place.

When waiting for a train, spread out along the platform. When the train arrives, wait for others to get off before you get on. On the train, sit apart from others whenever you can (except for people from the same household).

Stations may restrict entry or use queuing systems at short notice, to maintain social distancing.

Check  Tube station closures.

Bus travel

You should board your bus through the front door as usual. We've made safety improvements to driver screens on buses to help keep you and our drivers safe

Follow the signs and instructions on the outside of the bus and board, touching in as indicated.

Buses have maximum capacity limits, so you may be refused entry.

Carers travelling with wheelchair or mobility scooter users can still board the bus, even if both customers exceed the maximum capacity limit.

More about bus service changes.

Standing on buses

You must remain seated on buses at all times. Standing is not currently allowed anywhere on a bus.

This is so that people can use all the space on both decks while maintaining social distance.

A small number of customers are unable to sit down due to an impairment or medical condition. Find out what you should do if this applies to you.

Travelling to school

  • There is a full service on our existing schoolday-only routes (routes generally numbered 600-699)
  • Across the network, almost all buses are now open to anyone, and customers should get on the first bus that arrives subject to capacity
  • A small number of buses are specifically aimed at people travelling to and from school. These will continue to be marked as "School Services" --please don't use them unless you are travelling to or from school

Find out more on our Travel guidance for schools page.

Vaccination centres

Get travel information for some of the largest NHS vaccination centres in London.

You must have an appointment to get a coronavirus vaccine at vaccination centres.

DLR selective door boarding

We have taken the first and last sets of doors out of use on all DLR trains. These doors are for staff use only and we are asking customers to move along the platform to use another set of doors.


Follow the Department for Transport's safer travel guidance for private cars and other vehicles.

If you are driving, please plan ahead. The quietest times on roads are 10:00-15:00 and after 19:00 weekdays, and before 10:00 and after 18:00 on weekends.

Take extra care, as more people are walking and cycling.


Social distancing requirements are affecting some of the accessibility arrangements we have in place. Our staff are still here to help.

More about accessibility changes.

Use our travel tools

Our TfL Go app helps you plan travel on the move. Add it to your iOS and Android devices. 

Also see our travel tools and Facebook TravelBot to plan your journey. Some stations have changed entrances and exits.

More information

Page last reviewed 20 May 2021