Merseyrail has announced changes to its services due to the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which has led to an increase in staff being absent.
Services on all lines on the Merseyrail network will change to a 30-minute service from 17 January until further notice. It is hoped that by taking these measures that the operator will be able to avoid last minute cancellations and give passengers time to adjust their travel plans where needed.
Prior to this, between 10 and 16 January, there will be pre-planned cancellations in place on the Merseyrail network. Further information on these can be found here: https://www.merseyrail.org/plan-your-journey/train-cancellations.aspx.
Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail, said:
“Our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that we can provide a safe and reliable service to the people of the Liverpool City Region.
“However, as is the case on other parts of the UK rail network, the Omicron variant has significantly increased the number of front-line staff being absent from work. This means that we need to reduce the number of trains we run to ensure that our services remain reliable.
“I would advise all customers to check our website and social media feeds before they travel, and we will continue to work hard to provide the best service that we can.”
Merseyrail customers are reminded that the wearing of face coverings on public transport is mandatory unless exempt, and we encourage everyone to follow the below guidance to keep both themselves and others safe:
- Avoid peak travel if you can (between 07:00-09:30 and 16:00-18:30)
- Allow extra time for your journey
- To protect yourself and others, you must wear a face covering unless exempt. Fines may apply. All customers travelling on Merseyrail must wear a face covering both within our stations and on our trains.
- Use contactless payments where possible
- Wash or sanitise hands as soon as possible before and after travel
- Follow advice from staff and be considerate to other passengers
- Do not use public transport if you have COVID-19 symptoms or you have been instructed to self-isolate.