The UK Government will provide cash refunds for domestic rail and coach tickets for the previous Christmas travel window between 23 to 27 December, bought before the change in regulations and guidance that were announced by the Prime Minister on Saturday 19 December.
The refunds will apply to journeys in England booked on or after 24 November, when the now abandoned Christmas travel window was announced.
The Government said it recognises that many people will have booked their coach and rail tickets in advance based on previous government advice. It said wants to ensure that people are not penalised for following the new rules, protecting themselves and others from the virus.
Public transport operators will be able to issue refunds immediately and passengers should check the website of their operator for how to claim. The Department for Transport is asking people to be patient as rail and coach operators will be processing high volumes of refunds over the coming weeks.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is imperative that we all follow the new measures and play our part in tackling this virus, protecting others and safeguarding our NHS. If you booked a coach or rail journey between 23 and 27 December, you are entitled to a cash refund. This ensures no one is left out of pocket for doing the right thing – staying home in Tier 4, and elsewhere staying local and only meeting your Christmas bubble on Christmas Day.”
The new variant of COVID-19 detected in the UK is known as VUI2020/01. It is described as being up to 70% more transmissible. However, there is no evidence that it is more deadly and there is also no indication that it reacts differently to vaccines that have been developed to tackle COVID-19.
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