Amtrak and coronavirus: Things to know

Social distancing and reducing travel is key at this time to limit the spread of coronavirus. If you need to change your Amtrak travel plans or will travel in the near future, here is what you need to know to travel well.

This article was last updated on December 30, 2020. Information is changing quickly, so be sure to visit for the latest updates.

Facial Coverings are Required

Amtrak asks that all passengers in stations and on trains and buses wear facial coverings. Note that neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandannas and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings. Additionally, physical distancing practices are in place and fresh air is circulated every 4-5 minutes to help reduce coronavirus risk. (In comparison, air on planes is replaced every 3 minutes on average).

No Change Fees for a Limited Time

There are no change fees on tickets booked by March 31, 2021. You can change your ticket on the website. Click “Modify Trip” at the top of all pages to start the process.


View Amtrak’s refund information. It is free to cancel within the first 24 hours of booking, otherwise, you may not get a full refund. Because there are no change fees for tickets booked by March 31, 2020, you may want to change your ticket vs cancel it. To cancel a ticket, click “Modify Trip” at the top of all pages to start the process. You will need you reservation number and your email or phone number. You can also call 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak with an agent.

Reservations Required for Multi-Tickets and Passes

Monthly, ten-ride and six-ride multi-ride ticket holders will need to confirm their travel on reserved services using Amtrak RideReserve prior to boarding.

Frequency Changes

Almost all long-distance routes will have reduced frequency starting in October 2020 (no daily service). Learn more about schedule changes.


You may want to bring food with you on the train to limit contact with others. Flexible dining will also be available on all long-distance trains except the Auto Train (the Auto Train will maintain traditional dining). With flexible dining, you can order food and have it delivered to your seat. Otherwise, cafe cars will be open with carryout only.


Amtrak is cleaning trains more frequently and increasing the availability of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes for riders and employees. If you have your own disinfectant wipes, we recommend packing those as well, and clean your entire seat area, roomette or bedroom with them. Reminder to avoid touching your face, cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze and wash your hands often for 20 seconds. If you can’t get to a sink easily, use hand sanitizer.


If you are concerned about avoiding germs, follow these guidelines to limit your exposure to other people:

  • If you are on a long-distance train with a sleeper car, book a roommette or bedroom so you can have personal space on the train with a door you can shut
  • If you are sitting in coach, avoiding choosing a seat where people may be walking past you frequently. Look for seats that are:
    • Next to the window
    • Away from the restroom
    • Away from the cafe or lounge car

More Information

Amtrak Coronavirus Updates