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Christmas rail and coach journeys to be refunded

Written by: Emma Lunn
The government has promised that all domestic rail and coach passengers who have cancelled their travel plans in England between 23 and 27 December will be refunded.

The announcement came after large parts of the country were moved into Tier 4 and people ordered to stay at home over the Christmas period. Brits living in other tiers were advised to stick to local travel only.

The aim is that passengers won’t be left out of pocket for complying with the new Christmas rules.

The government will provide cash refunds for domestic rail and coach tickets for the previous Christmas travel window of 23 to 27 December, bought before the change in regulations and guidance that were announced by the prime minister on Saturday 19 December.

This will apply to journeys in England booked on or after 24 November, when the Christmas travel window was announced.

The government recognises that many people will have booked their coach and rail tickets in advance based on previous government advice. This announcement ensures that people are not penalised for following the new rules, protecting themselves and others from coronavirus.

Operators will be able to issue refunds immediately and passengers should check the website of their operator for how to claim. The government is urging 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.”

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