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Stay safe, stay local and carefully consider your travel plans this Christmas

Greater Manchester transport bosses are urging the public to stay local if possible this Christmas – and carefully consider any travel plans, in line with the latest government travel advice

Greater Manchester is currently subject to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, which means people can form a ‘Christmas bubble’ with a maximum of two other households on Christmas Day only. However, residents should aim to keep their bubble as small as possible and not form a bubble with anyone from a Tier 4 area. 

The 10 Greater Manchester directors of public health have also asked anyone who has travelled to the region from any Tier 4 area or Wales to self-isolate for at least 10 days from when they arrive. This means remaining inside the house where they’re staying for the full 10 days. Other people who live in the house don’t need to self-isolate unless anyone gets symptoms, but no visitors should be allowed in that house at all, even on Christmas Day. 

The latest government guidance states that people should stay local where possible, avoid travelling to higher or lower tier areas and think carefully about the risks of forming a Christmas bubble – particularly with people who may be more vulnerable. 

Anyone who chooses to form a bubble and needs to travel should: 

  • Plan ahead, check for disruption before they leave, and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times. 
  • Avoid making unnecessary stops during their journey. 
  • Avoid sharing a car with people not in their household or Christmas bubble. 
  • Keep their distance from other people while travelling, where possible. 
  • Wash or sanitise their hands regularly. 

Public transport may be busy, with limited space due to social distancing, and services will be reduced over Christmas. Passengers should check with their transport operator or visit the TfGM Christmas service changes page for details. 

Once at their destination, people should follow the rules in that tier, stay local if possible and avoid unnecessary travel in the area after arriving.

You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

When using public transport, passengers should remember to wear a face covering, including at transport hubs and interchanges, and in taxis and private hire vehicles, unless exempt. They should also: 

  • Keep their distance from other passengers where possible. 
  • Clean their hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser. 
  • Use contactless payment if they can. 

 

Transport for Greater Manchester Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “We know that it’s been a very difficult year for everyone, but I’d urge people to follow the latest government advice – stay local where possible and think carefully whether you wish to form a bubble on Christmas Day itself. 

“If you have to travel during the rest of the festive period then please remember to take care, plan ahead and follow the simple safer travel rules and guidance. For those travelling by car, please remember to watch your speed and don’t drink and drive. 

“We’ve worked hard to make sure the transport network is as safe, clean and reliable as possible, so let’s continue to work together to help stop the spread of the virus, protect ourselves and each other and enjoy Christmas and New Year.” 

TfGM and operators continue to help passengers travel safely and have introduced a range of initiatives, including enhanced, antiviral cleaning; installing hand sanitiser dispensers; and launching ‘trambassadors’ on the Metrolink network. 

During the rest of the festive period, while under Tier 3 restrictions, people in Greater Manchester should reduce the number of journeys they make where possible and avoid travelling out of the area, except where necessary for work, education, medical reasons or caring responsibilities. 

For the latest safe travel advice, visit tfgm.com/coronavirus. For service and disruption information, see www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 or follow @OfficialTfGM and @MCRMetrolink on Twitter. 

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055

mediarelations@tfgm.com

Notes to editors

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for delivering Greater Manchester’s future transport strategy and commitments.

We also deliver a wide range of day-to day public transport and active travel services and projects to keep the city-region moving and growing.

With around six million journeys a day, we’re working hard to make travel easier through a better connected and well-informed Greater Manchester. To find out more about TfGM please visit tfgm.com/about-tfgm.