Elderly and disabled can get free travel to their Covid-19 jab appointment

Elderly and disabled people will be able to travel free to receive their jab appointment, transport bosses have said.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 5:17 pm
Vulnerable passengers will be able to travel for free to their jab appointments with a Concessionary Travel pass

Public transport journeys before 9.30am will be free for Concessionary Travel pass holders if they are going to or from a coronavirus vaccination appointment, Nexus has confirmed.

It means older and eligible disabled customers can travel free of charge on local buses across Tyne and Wear – and on the Metro systen if they have a Gold Card – if they have proof of an early morning appointment, such as a letter, email or text.

This extra concession works the same as the longstanding ‘hospital appointment’ concession. Concessionary Travel passes and Metro Gold Cards can otherwise be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.

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Cllr Gladys Hobson, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee, said:

“Public transport has a key role to play in getting people to vaccine centres as part of the national effort to defeat Covid-19.

“We want to make this as easy as possible for people, which is why we have relaxed the rule so that concessionary pass holders can travel before 9.30am if they have an early appointment to get a jab.

“This extra concession works the same as the longstanding ‘hospital appointment’ concession. Concessionary Travel passes and Metro Gold Cards can otherwise be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.

“This agreement is only for people who have a valid appointment on the day of travel. I urge passengers not to make any non-essential journey on any of our services.”

Central Station is the nearest Metro stop to the mass vaccine hub at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. There is also a dedicated bus stop directly outside the hub.

People should only attend if they have been contacted by the NHS.

Those heading home on public transport after having the vaccine are reminded that they still need to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

People who book into a vaccine centre will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab and then be observed for 15 minutes. The process should take well under an hour.