They have also been urged by train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to try to avoid rush hour times where possible. Steve White, GTR chief operating officer, said: “Lockdown is easing from Monday but capacity on the rail network remains limited, especially in the morning peak, due to the requirement for social distancing. “Please wear a face covering and help us keep trains clear for those who really need them by avoiding the busiest times of the day.” The firm, which operates Great Northern, said passengers planning to take advantage of rail services for shopping and leisure trips as the lockdown eases should avoid the morning and evening peaks to help keep trains clear for key workers and those who needed them most. It said that from today passengers had to wear a face covering, should avoid travelling between 06.30 and 9.00 and 16.00 to 18.00, book tickets online and to use contactless payments where possible. Passengers were also advised to make sure they kept 2m from other passengers and to carry hand sanitiser as well as washing hands before and after travelling. GTR, like other rail operators, is running a reduced service because staff numbers have been hit by the virus, but it has been adding extra services and lengthening trains when NHS workers and others have sent in reports of busy sevices. From today it has also offered extra services and longer trains to improve capacity, including on Great Northern’s suburban route to Moorgate where there are additional early morning services and evening peak trains. GTR has introduced a wide range of measures, especially to help social distancing, including one way and queueing at the busiest stations, with the installation of 19,000 floor signs, 25,000 train signs, posters, advertisements and announcements. It has put in 1,000 touch free and sanitiser points and developed an app to measure passenger volumes, “hot spots” and areas where social distancing is not being observed, enabling it to alter services where possible. All of GTR’s 2,700 carriages are now being sanitised every night and trains and facilities are being treated with a “powerful new viruscide” which can kill viruses for up to 30 days.