CoronavirusFollow Government guidelines
Safer travel guidance
Follow Government guidelines
Consider walking and cycling. Minimise travel as much as possible. Continue to work from home where you can. Choose quieter times and routes to travel.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 quieter 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.
Payment at ticket machines
You can't use cash to top up your Oyster card or buy tickets at most Tube and DLR stations. You can only use card payments at ticket machines.
Some Tube and DLR stations are still accepting cash:
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.
We've made safety improvements to driver screens on buses to help keep you and our drivers safe. This means we have been able to go back to front-door boarding.
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.
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
From Monday 19 April 2021, bus services will run much as they did during the spring term. This means:
- Extra services on some routes, with some adjustments to services that ran last year to reflect demand
- Up to half of buses on certain higher-frequency routes signed as 'school services' (generally between 07:30 and 09:00 and 14:30 and 16:30)
- A full service on our existing schoolday-only routes (routes generally numbered 600-699)
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.
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
Our TfL Go app helps you plan travel on the move. Add it to your iOS and Android devices.
Page last reviewed 14 April 2021