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Coronavirus: Travel information and advice

Updated: 3.30pm Tuesday 23 February 2021

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Greater Manchester is in National Lockdown

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the government’s four-step ‘roadmap’ for cautiously easing England's coronavirus restrictions.

Each step will be assessed against four tests before restrictions ease, starting with the return of schools on Monday 8 March.

For now, the country remains under National Lockdown restrictions, with the ‘Stay at Home’ order remaining in place until at least Monday 29 March. Further details can be found on the Government's coronavirus guidance page.

For travel, this means that:

  • You must stay at home and only leave the house for essential purposes, such as work, medical appointments, caring responsibilities, visiting people in your support bubble, attending a place of worship, shopping for essential items or exercise. For a list of legally permitted reasons, please see Government guidance.

  • If you do need to travel, stay local – avoid travelling outside the part of Greater Manchester where you live.

  • Reduce the number of journeys you make and walk or cycle if you can.

  • If you need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering unless exempt and follow safety guidelines – keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment if possible.

  • If you are using public transport, plan ahead, allow extra time for your journey, consider travelling outside peak times and using quieter routes.

  • Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or support bubble.

If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, please check the latest government guidance.

Further updates will follow as more restrictions are eased, so please continue to check this page for the latest travel advice.

Advice for students from Monday 8 March

When students return to school and college from Monday 8 March, they should cycle or walk if they can. 

However, students travelling by public transport should: 

  • Wear a face covering on-board and in stations and interchanges, unless they are under 11 or exempt for another reason. 

  • Keep their distance where possible on platforms, stops, stations and on-board. 

  • Follow their school’s or college’s guidance and sit with other members of their own school/college bubble where possible. 

  • Clean their hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser. 

  • Use contactless payment, buying tickets online for smart cards or using mobile apps where possible, or use exact change only if needing to pay with cash. 


Travelling safely

If you need to use public transport:

  • You must wear a face covering, including at transport hubs and interchanges, and in taxis and private hire vehicles, unless you’re exempt. If you don’t, you may be unable to travel and you could be fined £200. Read our face coverings guidance.

  • Keep your distance from other passengers where possible.

  • Clean your hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser with you.

  • Use contactless payment if you can.

You should avoid car sharing with people outside your household or support bubble. If this isn’t possible, you can reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission by:

  • Travelling with as few people as possible.

  • Sitting as far away as possible from other people.

  • Opening windows for ventilation.

  • Asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering.

Download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters.


Playing our part to help keep you safe

TfGM and transport operators have put measures in place to help keep passengers safe:

  • We’ve installed hand sanitiser dispensers at bus stations, interchanges and the busiest Metrolink stops.

  • We’re disinfecting regularly touched surfaces with hospital grade antiviral cleaner at bus stations and interchanges every two hours, including in our public toilets, and carrying out swab spot tests to check cleaning standards.

  • We’re also cleaning our trams with antiviral solution every two hours, and Metrolink stops every day.

  • Safe travel ‘trambassadors’ will be out on the Metrolink network, engaging with and educating customers on safety measures, handing-out free face coverings and hand sanitisers, and encouraging off-peak travel and contactless payment options.

  • We’ve introduced measures to support social distancing across the transport network.

  • We’ve joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme, so TfGM staff at bus stations and interchanges, and Metrolink staff, can offer support to people wearing the sunflower design who have disabilities which may not be easy to recognise, and give them the confidence to travel safely.


Bus stations, interchanges and Travelshops

The working hours for staff at TfGM’s bus stations and interchanges are:

  • Monday to Saturday - 8am to 6pm. This applies to all bus stations, including at the Trafford Centre.

  • Sundays - 10am to 5pm.

The opening hours for all our Travelshops (including Altrincham) are:

  • Monday to Saturday - 8.30am to 4pm (closed for lunch 1.15pm to 2pm).

  • Sundays - Closed.


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Vaccination sites travel information

If you’ve been contacted by the NHS and invited for a COVID-19 vaccination in Greater Manchester, we have information and advice to help you travel to and from your appointment safely.


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Cycling and Walking

Get help and advice on cycling and walking your journeys, as well as access to bikes, business support and info on temporary measures in your area.