ScotRail to offer free face masks at busiest train stations as wearing face coverings becomes mandatory from Monday

ScotRail staff will be wearing face masks to protect themselves and passengers. Pic: GettyScotRail staff will be wearing face masks to protect themselves and passengers. Pic: Getty
ScotRail staff will be wearing face masks to protect themselves and passengers. Pic: Getty
Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in Scotland from tomorrow, with ScotRail offering free face masks at the country's busiest train stations.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement on Thursday and said only people with medical conditions breathing difficulties and children under the age of five would be exempt.

ScotRail is now reminding customers that, if your journey is essential, so is covering your face.

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Face masks will be available for free from Monday at some of Scotland's busier stations, to help people get used to the new normal for rail travel.

These stations are:

• Glasgow Queen Street• Edinburgh Haymarket• Glasgow Central• Edinburgh Waverley• Inverness• Aberdeen• Argyle Street• Exhibition Centre• Johnstone• Ayr• Paisley Gilmour Street• Linlithgow• Falkirk High• Bathgate• Airdrie• Hyndland• Dalmuir• Motherwell 

Staff across Scotland’s Railway have been provided with face coverings, masks, and visors to help keep themselves and passengers safe. Passengers are reminded that, while Scotland’s Railway has introduced measures to help, they must take personal responsibility for their travel choices, including covering their face at all stages of their journey. ScotRail says the five rules for safer travel are:- Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.- Travel away from the main commuting times (7am-9am and 4pm-6:30pm) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.- If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.- Wear a face mask or covering and, where possible, maintain physical distancing. - Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.

Passengers should also expect an increase in the time it takes to buy a ticket at a station and board a train.

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Buying tickets in advance through the ScotRail app or website will reduce waiting time for passengers.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said: “The position on face coverings is now absolutely clear and we are urging customers to take collective responsibility and follow the Scottish Government rules on their mandatory use.“We are doing everything we can to help customers get used to the changes in rail travel and that’s why, for a limited time, we will be providing face masks at our busiest stations. But Scotland’s Railway can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a customer’s journey.“The message remains the same as it has been since the start of the pandemic: only travel if your journey is essential and follow our five rules for safer travel. It will help to keep you, your fellow customers, and our staff safe.”