Train passengers with unwanted tickets will be able to claim fee-free refunds, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
The measure will help people with season tickets or Advance tickets who are no longer travelling.
The growth in home working means many commuters have stopped using their weekly, monthly or annual passes.
Obtaining a refund previously involved paying an admin fee of up to £10, but that has been waived.
🚨NEW: From today anyone holding a season or advance ticket will be able to get a refund without any admin fees charged.— Transport Focus (@TransportFocus) March 23, 2020
We're pleased train companies and @transportgovuk have listened and done the right thing for passengers during the #Coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/Z6f8lpykeX
Not all season ticket holders will be able to get money back however, due to the way refunds are calculated.
The minimum amount of time left on a ticket for it to be eligible for a refund is around three days for a weekly ticket, seven days for a monthly ticket and three months for an annual ticket.
The measures announced by the DfT also mean anyone holding an Advance ticket can get their money back.
The tickets, which are for a specific train service, are popular with leisure travellers who want to save money.
They are normally non-refundable, but can be amended for a £10 fee.
Off-peak and Anytime tickets can also be refunded without an admin charge.
To obtain a refund for any type of ticket, passengers should contact whoever they bought it from, whether that is a train company or an independent ticket retailer.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the announcement will help to ensure that “no-one is unfairly out of pocket for doing the right thing”.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: “It is right that Government and train companies have recognised the exceptional circumstances posed by coronavirus and allowed refunds on Advance tickets and unused time on season tickets.
“This victory for common sense will be a welcome relief for passengers who feared that they had lost their money.”