Travel company National Express has announced it will suspend all its UK coach services until March due to CCP virus lockdown measures.
The company said it will “fully suspend its national network of scheduled coach services” from midnight on Jan. 10.
It said it plans to resume services “as soon as the time is right,” but has put in place a provisional restart date of March 1.
Suspension of coach services – We are temporarily suspending all coach services from 23:59 on Sunday 10 January 2021. Visit our service updates page for more information, links to the latest government guidance & information on ticket amendments & refunds https://t.co/9Ewl7m1yop.
— NX Customer Service (@nxcare) January 7, 2021
Customers whose travel has been cancelled will be contacted and offered a free amendment or full refund, it said.
“We have been providing an important service for essential travel needs. However, with tighter restrictions and passenger numbers falling, it is no longer appropriate to do this,” said Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach.
“As the vaccination programme is rolled out and government guidance changes, we will regularly review when we can restart services,” he said in a statement.
This is the firm’s second full suspension of services since the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic began last spring.
National Express suspended all its UK coach services in April in response to government advice against all-but-essential travel. It restarted services in July with much reduced frequencies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday a new England-wide national lockdown, saying that previous measures were no longer sufficient to curb the spread of a new CCP virus variant, which he said has a 50 to 70 percent faster rate of transmission.
Under the new restrictions, Johnson said people must stay at home, and “may only leave home for limited reasons permitted, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance, or to escape domestic abuse.”
Data published by the Office for National Statistics shows that on average one in 50 people have the CCP virus in England, with around one in 30 for London, where infections have been rising the fastest.
So far, 1.3 million people in the UK have been vaccinated against the virus, according to the government.
Simon Veazey contributed to this report.