News: Physical distancing reduced to one metre on Scotland’s Railway

ScotRail logo

On Monday 27 July, ScotRail reduced physical distancing on trains and at stations to a minimum of one metre. This is following the new guidance from the Scottish Government issued on 2 July.

ScotRail introduced steps to keep staff and passengers safe, including the provision of hand sanitiser and face masks at the busiest stations in the country. Face coverings are mandatory at stations and on trains, with exemptions in place.

Platform markings and guidance at ticket vending machines are supporting station announcements and messages on customer information screens, to help customers during their journey.

People are urged to consider alternative travel options where possible, including walking and cycling, to free up space for those who have no choice but to travel by train.

For those who do travel on ScotRail services, the operator is asking customers to continue to follow its five rules for safer travel and take personal responsibility:

  1. Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.
  2. Travel away from the main commuting times (0700 – 0900 and 1600 – 1830) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.
  3. If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.
  4. Wear a face mask or covering and, where possible, maintain physical distancing.
  5. 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.

The capacity of trains remains significantly reduced to help support physical distancing. Customers are reminded to buy in advance of travel via the ScotRail app, website, or station facilities to ensure waiting times are reduced and physical distancing supported. Some stations facilities will remain unavailable to allow for physical distancing. All customers must hold a valid ticket before boarding a train.

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At Disability Equality Scotland, we want to ensure that disabled people are consulted throughout the process of easing lockdown restrictions. Please share any comments or concerns you have by responding to our weekly poll. Your comments are shared directly with policy officials and decision makers at the Scottish Government to help inform their response to the pandemic.

You can also share your concerns directly with us by emailing: or calling us on 0141 370 0968