Coronavirus has infected 2,626 cases in the UK prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urge Britons to avoid non-essential social contact. People have been urged to work from home where possible. But for those who buy expensive seasonal travel tickets, can you get a refund?
This week, Mr Johnson has implemented a number of measures in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Schools around the UK will close from Friday until further notice.
Supermarket shelves have been emptied and many sporting and other events have been cancelled.
In the worst case scenarios, if nothing is done, up to 80 percent of people could be infected.
Social distancing and self-isolation have been advised to suppress the spread.
The Government has taken “wartime” action and is asking people to reduce social contact, with the strongest warnings for the most vulnerable.
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Anyone showing symptoms is asked not to leave their homes, while anyone with a fever or persistent cough is urged to stay at home for 14 days.
People are told to work from home where possible and avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres, as well as all unnecessary travel.
By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions, which are around 1.4 million with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or asthma should be shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.
London is the worst hit area of the UK in terms of coronavirus cases.
According to Public Health England, as of March 18, there are 953 cases of the virus in London.
This is more than three times the South East, which is the region with the second highest number of confirmed cases in the UK.
This week, Londoners started to avoid the Underground, with Transport for London expected to lose £500m as a result of the outbreak.
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Can you get a refund on a season train ticket?
Railway season ticket holders are potentially facing months of uncertainty as the COVID-19 outbreaks spreads across the country.
Passengers have taken to social media to express their confusion about where they stand in terms of refunds.
Rail chiefs have confirmed train operators have relaxed refund restrictions to assist travellers with the viral pandemic.
Other companies are bringing additional precautions into effect after the Government instituted new social distancing measures.
Are you eligible for a refund?
Three types of season tickets are sold by British railway companies: weekly, monthly and yearly.
Each ticket comes with different limits on refunds.
Train companies calculate season ticket refunds by working out the cheapest alternative way the holder could have travelled the journeys they have made.
A Rail Delivery Group spokesman told the Evening Standard: “Train companies understand that at the moment people may not wish to travel in the way they had originally planned.
“Season tickets can be refunded, depending on how long is left unused on them, and people should get in touch with their train company or the website from which they bought their ticket to see what they might be entitled to.”
How much money could you get refunded?
Refunds are subject to the terms and conditions of each operator and depends on the specific circumstances.
Some train operators institute a £10 admin fee for refunds on season tickets and this is likely to remain in effect with coronavirus refunds due to the sheer numbers of tickets which will likely be refunded.
The RDG said train operators have also waived “refund fees” on most refundable fares (Anytime, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak and Rover/Ranger) and the “change of journey fee” for advance tickets, which is normally £10.
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