CoronavirusNational lockdown: Stay at home
Safer travel guidance
National lockdown: Stay at home
The latest Government guidance requires everyone to stay at home wherever possible. You must not leave or be outside your home except where necessary.
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.
TfL services continue to run for those who need to travel for legally permitted reasons.
Safety and hygiene
If you are travelling, follow these safety and hygiene measures. They help protect you and everyone else on the transport network.
- Plan your journey in advance and, where possible, travel when it is quiet
- Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, unless you are exempt for age, health or accessibility reasons
- Maintain social distancing where possible
- Follow signs, listen to announcements and pay attention to our staff
- Wash your hands before and after your journey
- Carry hand sanitiser or use sanitiser points at stations
- Use contactless or Oyster to pay for your travel
- Follow government advice for safer travel and check the safer travel information sheet
- Make sure bus windows are kept open to ensure a good supply of fresh air
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
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.
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
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.
Quiet times and places
The quiet 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.
Many local stations have different quiet times. Check how busy any station on the TfL network is, at any time of day.
If you are travelling outside of the quiet times, check the busiest stations, stops and routes.
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 may be affected by coronavirus - check before you travel.
Some staff need to stay at home because they are self-isolating, ill or clinically extremely vulnerable. This is causing minor changes to service frequency and some station closures.
Use contactless or Oyster
Most Tube and all DLR stations (except Lewisham, Shadwell and Woolwich Arsenal) are only accepting contactless or Oyster to pay for travel. Ticket machines at all London Overground and TfL Rail stations are accepting cash.
Some Tube and DLR stations are still 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.
Bus boarding changes
We've made safety improvements to driver screens on buses to help keep you and our drivers safe. This means we can gradually go back to front-door boarding for London buses.
Follow the signs and instructions on the outside of the bus and board through the appropriate door, touching in as indicated.
Buses with front-door boarding 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.
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
Most routes are no longer separated into School Services and Non-School services, and all customers who need to travel can board the first bus that comes (subject to capacity).
The additional school services that ran in the autumn 2020 term are not running currently.
Get travel information for 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.
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.
Use our travel tools
Page last reviewed 18 January 2021