What you need to know

  • if someone becomes unwell while at a transport hub or on their journey with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home
  • passengers should wash their hands for 20 seconds before and after they have been on public transport and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
  • advise passengers they should not travel if they are feeling unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) – a new, continuous cough or a high temperature. This will also help to protect others from infection
  • use announcements in transport hubs to reinforce key messages, such as washing hands before and after travel, and what to do if unwell


This guidance will assist transport settings in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a transport setting

If anyone becomes unwell with the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a transport setting they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 (or call 111 if they don’t have internet access). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff or a passenger has helped someone who was taken unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell.

It is not necessary to close the transport setting or send any staff home, unless government policy changes. Keep monitoring the website for the latest details.

Travel arrangements

Anyone who has symptoms should be advised to quickly and directly return home, to remain there and avoid contact with other people. While using public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

This will prevent them from spreading the disease to family, friends and the wider community.

Cleaning and waste

You can find guidance on cleaning and waste disposal.

Limiting spread in transport hubs

Transport hubs should use posters and announcements to remind travellers and staff to wash their hands often and follow general hygiene advice. Posters, leaflets and other materials available.

Handling baggage, post or freight

There is no known increase in risk for handling baggage, post or freight from specified countries. Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work.

Arrivals into the UK


Maritime Declarations of Health are already required for all ships arriving from a foreign port. If the Maritime Declaration of Health reports any instances of illness, the usual procedures for infectious diseases will be followed.


All passengers will be provided with information leaflets on arrival in the UK.

All flights to the UK are required to:

  • provide health announcements to passengers relating to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • provide information to the relevant airport in line with standard operating procedure, and to the PHE Health Control Unit at London Heathrow (LHR), in the event that there is a seriously unwell passenger

Performing body or bag searches

PHE recommends that passengers be asked if they have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature prior to the search. PHE recommend that staff consider wearing gloves for each search and wash their hands as frequently as possible.

Souce: Department of Transport, Public Health England