***LAST UPDATED 13TH JANUARY 2021 17:51 BST***
We want you to be the first to know about what operators are doing to ensure you and their colleagues are safe and how the outbreak can affect your journey.
All operators we mention on TravelNorthEast.co.uk are working hard around the clock to ensure you are safe and safety will always be every operators first responsibility and below you can find the latest information for each form of travel.
TYNE & WEAR METRO
KEEPING SERVICES CLEAN
Wearing A Face Covering - AFFECTING ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORT: Since 15th June 2020, if you are travelling on any form of public transport you are required by law to wear a face covering, any form of cloth face covering is sufficient according to Public Health England advice; for example covering your nose & mouth with a head scarf or cloth face mask is fine. Remember medical graded PPE is NOT necessary and these should be left for the NHS & carers to use in a professional setting only. For further information click here. The UK Government has given advice on how to make a simple and effective face covering at home, using things you already have in your home, to find out more on how to do it click here.
Travel Corridors: From 10th July 2020 you no longer need to self quarantine for 14 days if you arrive into an English airport from any of the "safe list" countries identifed by the UK Government (this includes arriving into Newcastle and Teesside airports). You can find the "safe list" which is updated as and when necessary by clicking here. You should also follow advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) which you can find for every country by clicking here.
Flight Changes: Airlines are slowly restoring flights to/from our regions airports but this is a fast changing situation. Unfortunately most airlines are running a much reduced flying programme this Summer and into Winter due to a much reduced demand. This also means some flights are being consolidated so they operate less flights to certain destinations to ensure flights are as full and cost affective as possible. We would strongly recommend checking with your airine, tour operator or travel agency if you are concerned about your journey. You can find out your airlines website & contact details by clicking here.
Entry Into The UK: The UK Government requires all arrivals into the country to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form, whether a resident or visitor. For details about entry into the UK & to complete the form online click here.
Most buses are now back to normal timetables, with the exception of some Park & Ride, school and work special services and tourist buses. There are still some amendments below to enable safer travel and social distancing. All bus companies request passengers pay by card, mobile app or pre-paid smartcards where these options are available and reduce cash use as much as possible. Some operators will not give change and the change will be donated to charity if you overpay.
Haymarket Bus Station: Is only open for boarding only from 15th June 2020 to ensure social distancing between people boarding & alighting buses in the area. Passengers will need to alight the bus at the previous stop on Barras Bridge, St Mary's Place or St Thomas Street. Download information poster by clicking here.
Eldon Square Bus Station: Most buses will set down on neighbouring streets, passengers can board services as normal at Eldon Square bus station
Metrocentre interchange: Buses will drop off opposite the Metrocentre Interchange building allowing you direct access to the malls. If you are changing between services, you will need to use the access bridge to cross from the set down area to the Interchange building to board your next bus.
Middlesbrough Bus Station: The bus station is open until 22:00. Both the Newport Road and Captain Cook Square pedestrian entrances to the Bus Station will continue to be in use with a two-way route in place and the toilets will remain available, although with hourly closures for cleaning. From 2201 onwards, buses will depart from Stand Z outside BBC Tees in Newport Road (buses towards Stockton) or temporary bus stops in Brentnall Street outside Brentnall Business Units (all other services). Coaches will depart from Stand Z outside BBC Tees in Newport Road at all times. In Middlesbrough town centre, the Cleveland Centre Stands O-S in Grange Road remain closed until further notice.
Tyne & Wear Social Distancing At Stops/Stations: Click here for further details
Train services are subject to last minute changes and temporary timetables on some routes due to the current lockdown. Please check before you travel by clicking here and searching your journey (opens in a new window - not related to TravelNorthEast.co.uk)
Grand Central: Due to the third national lockdown being announced, sadly Grand Central have suspended all services until March.
Seat Reservations: LNER and CrossCountry require passengers to have a seat reservation before travel. If you book an advance ticket you're automatically allocated a seat for that specific train so you must sit in this allocated seat. If you're travelling on an open ticket (which says Super Off Peak, Off Peak or Anytime on it) or a season ticket you will need to reserve a seat at the station ticket office, over the telephone or online up to 10 minutes before departure with the operator you're using before you board. You maybe refused travel with a reserved seat. This is to enable social distancing on-board. Northern. Grand Central and Transpennine Express don't provide seat reservations but you should still sit away from other passengers and social distance onboard whilst sitting by the window if you're alone.
First Class Travel: The First Class LNER lounges at Newcastle and Darlington are still open but there are no refreshments available at the moment. Light complimentary refreshments can be collected by First Class customers on LNER trains. Please follow the onboard announcements for more information after departure from your station.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, catering is currently suspended on board Grand Central services, including the buffet and complimentary refreshments in First Class. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own food to consume on their journey.
On CrossCountry trains they have reintroduced catering for First Class ticket holders onboard but for safety of everyone onboard the way in which the service is provided will be slightly different. The range of products available is also reduced for the time being but is under constant review. Keep listening to onboard announcements for further details of what is available on your service.
TYNE & WEAR METRO TRAVEL
Since Monday 29th June 2020 the Tyne & Wear Metro will be operating their normal, full timetable. Their is a train every 3-12 minutes across the network. You can download times by clicking here.
Haymarket Station: To assist with social distancing the entrance from St Mary's Place has been closed. Please use the doorway from Northumberland Street to enter the station. The doorway near to the TravelShop and Haymarket bus station is now exit only.
Newcastle Airport Station: Newcastle Airport will be operating at reduced hours for the next few weeks due to a reduction in flight operations. When the terminal is not open, a side door at the station will remain available for Metro passengers, but access to the terminal for airport passengers will be possible for scheduled flights. Metro services will continue to operate to the winter timetable.
National Express: Services are suspended from 11th January 2021 until 1st March 2021. The restart date is subject to change. Download the temporary service map by clicking here. You can checkout fares by clicking here.
Megabus: Services are suspended from 11th January 2021 until 26th March 2021. The restart date is subject to change. You can checkout fares by clicking here. Megabus will continue its Scottish domestic routes with Scottish Citylink and running from Glasgow to London via Manchester & Birmingham for essential travel only.
On both operators, face coverings are mandatory on-board, without wearing one you maybe refused travel by the driver. Please allow extra time to board the coach, allow space between you and your fellow passengers & the driver. Please don't stand in the aisles when waiting to disembark, allow people in front of you to leave first. When waiting to board the coach you should allow more time for others to get off the coach first.
Only card payments will be accepted on the ferry.
Journeys are currently running to a normal timetable. Find out more by clicking here.
Ferries are sailing to their normal schedule from 15th July for all passengers.
Passengers should keep their distance onboard and follow the crew directions. Shops are now open with social distancing measures in place and travellers must wear facemasks when boarding and onboard the vessels and in crowded areas onboard. In accordance with UK guidelines, face masks must be worn whilst in UK port terminals.
As per UK Government regulations, you are required to read the latest UK public health advice and related duties for entering and staying in the UK before you travel. Read more here.
For details about entry into the Netherlands click here
For details about entry into the UK click here
KEEPING SERVICES CLEAN
All operators in our region already have a cleaning regime for their vehicles however in light of this outbreak, operators are stepping up their processes to ensure a safe environment for passengers and staff.
Every operator in our region has said they are increasing cleaning of main customer touch points, for example grab rails, stop buttons, card machines and ticket vending machines at stations and onboard.
You can do your bit by ensuring you...
Wear a face covering whilst in enclosed spaces for eg on-board public transport and in transport hubs. Any face covering is fine, it can be a cloth mask, homemade or store bought or a scarf as long as it covers your nose and mouth. You should NOT take medical grade masks away from medical settings.
Where possible purchase tickets using contactless payment or pre-purchase using smartphone apps
Sit apart, try not to sit directly in front or behind someone, keep seat rows empty between you and fellow passengers
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds every couple of hours or more often
Use hand sanitiser where possible
Wash your hands when you get home, or to work or when your near a washroom facility
Cover your mouth when you cough then wash your hands or sanitise
Cover your mouth when you cough then wash your hands or sanitise
se a tissue or your sleeve when you sneeze or to wipe your nose and dispose the tissue straight away in a bin
Try to avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes or nose if your hands are not clean
If you feel unwell and have any of the virus symptoms stay at home & call NHS 111
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