Residents advised to plan their journeys as bars, restaurants and other businesses reopen this weekend

People looking to travel across Greater Manchester are being urged to keep themselves and others safe by planning their journeys in advance and following safety guidelines ahead of this weekend - which will see thousands of hospitality businesses opening their doors for the first time since lockdown began.

Following a further relaxation of Government restrictions, bars, restaurants, hairdressers, barbers and hotels will be able to reopen on Saturday 4 July, as long as they have taken measures to ensure they are Covid-19 secure. For many, that may mean travelling for either work or entertainment for the first time in some time.

To help manage demand on the transport networks, customers visiting any newly reopened businesses or employees returning to work are being asked to consider all other options before taking public transport, including walking and cycling, particularly for shorter journeys, or using taxis or private hire services where possible.

For those that do need to use public transport, the networks may look very different if they have not used it for some time with new signage, posters and floor stickers installed across  the network to reinforce health messaging and maintain social distancing.

Passengers are also reminded that even though social distancing requirements on public transport have been relaxed, capacity will still be limited, so people are being advised to avoid the busiest times, particularly 5pm to 7pm, Monday to Saturday. Passengers should also plan ahead and check their journey home, especially in the evenings, as the last Metrolink services stop at 11pm Monday to Friday and 10pm on Sunday. Bus and rail passengers should check with their operators.

Wearing face coverings, which can be a scarf or a bandana, is compulsory on public transport except for people who are exempt. Passengers can request a Journey Assistance card to show they are exempt from wearing a face covering by contacting TfGM’s customer team on 0161 244 1000.

Passengers are also being advised to wash their hands before and after travel and to use contactless or the exact change when paying. Hand sanitisers have been installed at bus stations and interchanges across the city-region.

Stephen Rhodes, TfGM’s Customer Director, said: “It is great news that more areas of our economy are opening up. I am sure there are thousands of people looking forward to their first drink in a pub or that long overdue haircut.

“But it does mean more people will be travelling, especially this weekend. The virus has not gone away, so to keep yourselves, friends, family and hardworking transport staff safe, we are asking people to plan their journeys and follow a few simple rules.”

If you can, please cycle or walk for short journeys, or use taxis. On public transport, wear a face covering and wash your hands before and after travel. If you do travel by public transport please expect it to take a little longer than usual and be patient with transport staff and other passengers. Let’s look after each other so we can reduce the spread of the virus and continue the recovery of our city-region.”

For the latest travel information and advice, visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s coronavirus webpages.

TfGM is also working with businesses and employees to ensure staff can travel safely. Businesses and other organisations looking for support and information on reopening can visit the #SafeGM hub.

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055

Notes to editors

Key messages

  • Help keep yourself and everyone safe when you’re outside the home by thinking about how and when you travel and following safety guidance.
  • Consider all other travel options before using public transport, including cycling and walking.
  • Plan ahead, allow extra time for your journeys and be patient when travelling.
  • If you are travelling, avoid the busiest times and routes – check for further information.
  • On public transport, you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt. Keep your distance from others, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment

Changes to social distancing guidance

 From Saturday 4 July, there will be changes to social distancing guidance.

Currently, you should stay 2m (6ft) apart from other passengers where possible. From Saturday 4 July, the guidance is due to change. You should still keep 2m apart from others where you can, but at least a 1m (3ft) distance where this isn’t possible.