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UK-based rail operator Northern has implemented new measures to safeguard its passengers and staff from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As a part of its measures, Northern has closed all the waiting rooms at its stations until further notice.

This move follows the government’s advice and is in-line with the similar action implemented by other train operators in the UK.

Northern has added that it may reopen the waiting areas after reviewing the situation in the event of bad weather.

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The station gatelines will be fully open. Passengers now do not need to show their tickets to the staff or pass paper or season tickets via the barriers. The penalty fares have also been suspended.

Northern has stated that passengers should still purchase tickets before boarding train and can purchase them from stations, ticket machines, online or the mobile app.

The rail operator is currently only accepting card payments as only some of the ticket machines are accepting cash.

Northern commercial and customer director Mark Powles said: “Our trains and stations remain open for business to help key workers get where they need to be across the north of England.

“For those who have to make essential journeys – and for our staff who continue to work across the network – we want to make the railway as safe as possible.

“The measure we have introduced today further limit person-to-person contact and help staff and passengers follow the advice from the government on social distancing.

Northern is currently operating with a reduced train timetable to provide transport for key workers and essential travel only.

Govia Thameslink Railway has announced that it has made further changes to the Southern, Thameslink, and Great Northern services, which will be effective from 30 March.

Earlier this week, UK rail companies such as FirstGroup, Greater Anglia and Transport for Wales announced that they will operate with a reduced timetable amid the pandemic.