As we continue to battle Covid-19, bracing ourselves for more new restrictions, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing list of rules and regulations to travel safely to work.

Although it was much more restrictive, the rules that came with the first lockdown were a bit more straightforward to follow, as the whole country was under the same restrictions.

But now we find ourselves faced with different tiers for different areas, with constantly-shifting goalposts.

As a consequence, there will be a lot more people travelling to work again.

You might be worried about returning to the office during a pandemic, so what can we do to make sure that we are as safe as possible as we travel to work during COVID?

Walking & Cycling

The first thing to note is that the current guidance for travelling to work during the pandemic is that you should walk or cycle wherever possible.

The main reason for this is to take pressure off the public transport system and we also know that you are much less likely to catch the virus outdoors.

So, if you can walk or cycle safely to work, then that is probably your best option.

Just make sure that you wash your hands before your journey and when you reach your destination.

Make sure you have a face covering and some hand sanitiser with you and keep your distance from others, especially at high-traffic areas like crossings.

Bus

Not everybody lives within walking distance of their work, so using public transport might be unavoidable.

You will need a face covering over your nose and mouth on a bus unless you are exempt from wearing one.

It might not seem like an ideal situation to be cooped up on a bus with a load of strangers during a pandemic, but there are things you can do to minimise the risk:

  • Consider walking for part of your journey. Getting off a stop early reduces the amount of time you have to be on the bus.
  • Travel at off-peak times if possible, so that there are fewer people on the bus at the same time.

Train

As with bus journeys, you will need to wear a face covering and to keep your distance – where possible - from others.

If you can’t keep this to the recommended 2 metres, try to at least maintain a 1 metre distance from others.

Consider writing yourself a list of things to remember to take with you on your journey so that you don’t find yourself without your face mask or hand gel.

Try to avoid touching your face and remember to wash your hands before and after your journey

Tube

For Londoners, tube travel is a staple of the morning commute.

With many people working from home now, the tube is – thankfully – not as busy as it was pre-pandemic.

However, it’s still important to remain vigilant to reduce the risk of transmission and to allow everyone to travel safely to work.

It might be a while since you took the tube and although you probably think you could do this journey with your eyes closed, it might be a bit different from how you remember it.

Some pointers to keep in mind:

  • You might need to queue outside stations now and use different entrances and exits than you’re used to. Allow extra time for this.
  • Try not to travel directly facing others. It is better to be side-by-side or behind.
  • Avoid talking loudly, shouting or singing.
  • Wait for the next train if it looks too crowded.
  • Keep a safe distance wherever possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow if you cough or sneeze.
travel safely to work on the tube by following social distancing guidelines

Taxis and cars

The current guidance is that you shouldn’t be in a car with people outside of your household or support bubble.

That said, there are exemptions such as using a taxi service, or some journeys made for work purposes.

In those situations, you should be wearing a face covering and sitting as far apart from other passengers as possible.

Follow all the guidance about washing hands before and after your journey and keep these kinds of trips to an absolute minimum.

Try and show respect and understanding of other people on public transport.

Don’t get cross with people you see not wearing a face covering.

Remember that you don’t know their circumstances and not all disabilities are visible. There is an extensive list of exemptions, so try not to judge.

Also keep an eye out for notices about queueing systems, one-way rules or seats that are out of bounds.

There is a lot of pressure on public transport staff at the moment, so try to be patient if you are in a rush.

It’s advisable to build in extra time for travel so that you do not get impatient with new ways of boarding or feel under pressure to board an overcrowded carriage.

Minimise the number of surfaces you touch and make sure you wash your hands when you get to your destination.

What can businesses do to help you travel safely to work?

If you are a business-owner you might want to consider the following to help ensure your employees feel safe coming back to work:

  • Keep your workplace COVID-secure. This could include staggering break times, installing screens, or providing sanitiser for staff and customers.

    Read the latest government guidance for more information.
  • Encourage employees to walk or cycle to work and encourage socially distanced car sharing where this isn’t possible.
  • Reassure employees that they are now allowed to use public transport for non-essential journeys, but that they still need to follow social distancing guidelines.

If you are an employee, and you are apprehensive about returning to the office and not being able to travel safely to work, you can ask your employer about the measures they are taking.

Keen to get back into the office?

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Browse our offices here or get in touch today to see how we can help you find your ideal London office space.

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