Coronavirus: 18 train stations to provide free face masks

ScotRail said free masks would be available for a 'limited period' as face coverings made mandatory from Monday.

Coronavirus: 18 train stations to provide free face masks Getty Images
Covid: Staff cleaning on board train at Edinburgh Waverely.

Eighteen train stations around Scotland will provide free face masks from Monday as covering your face is made compulsory on public transport.

ScotRail said free masks would be available for a “limited period” at the country’s busiest stations.

The initiative is predominantly happening in central Scotland, with six in Glasgow, but stations like Inverness and Aberdeen will also be served.

It comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced face coverings would be mandatory on all public transport as she moved the country into “phase two” of its plan to leave lockdown.

Buses, trains, taxis and trams will be included in the rule, with only children under five, those with breathing problems or other physical conditions which make it difficult to wear a mask, being exempt.

Addressing MSPs at Holyrood on Thursday, the First Minister said: “We believe that this measure will be increasingly important as use of public transport increases, and that implementing it now will help to reduce the risks of transmission and build public confidence.”

Other measures coming in phase two include the resumption of factory, warehouse and lab work and the reopening of most shops.

Operations director at ScotRail, David Simpson, said: “The position on face coverings is now absolutely clear and we are urging customers to take collective responsibility and follow the Scottish Government rules on their mandatory use.

“We are doing everything we can to help customers get used to the changes in rail travel and that’s why, for a limited time, we will be providing face masks at our busiest stations.

“But Scotland’s railway can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a customer’s journey.

“The message remains the same as it has been since the start of the pandemic: only travel if your journey is essential and follow our five rules for safer travel.

“It will help to keep you, your fellow customers, and our staff safe.”

The operator’s rules include not travelling if you feel unwell or have a fever; avoiding peak times where possible; and being prepared to wait for another service if a train looks too crowded.

The 18 stations which will offer free masks are:

  • Glasgow Queen Street
  • Edinburgh Haymarket
  • Glasgow Central
  • Edinburgh Waverley
  • Inverness
  • Aberdeen
  • Argyle Street
  • Exhibition Centre
  • Johnstone
  • Ayr
  • Paisley Gilmour Street
  • Linlithgow
  • Falkirk High
  • Bathgate
  • Airdrie
  • Hyndland
  • Dalmuir
  • Motherwell