New guidance issued by the Department for Transport on how to travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak states that passengers should minimise the time they spend near other people and avoid physical contact with them.
It says that "there may be situations where you can't keep a suitable distance from people", such as on busier services or at peak times.
"In these cases you should avoid physical contact, try to face away from other people," states the new Government advice.
It goes on: "The risk of infection increases the closer you are to another person with the virus and the amount of time you spend in close contact."
Transport operators are being urged to rearrange, remove or limit seating "to try and ensure social distancing is observed".
This may include blocking off seats in close proximity to others and removing face-to-face seating.
Single users of black cabs and minicabs should sit in the back left-hand seat of cars, according to the guidance.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Transport operators and staff have been working hard to ensure that people who need to get to work are able to do so, including crucial NHS workers and all those on the front line of the fight against the virus.
"Alongside the cycling and walking revolution we are launching, and clear guidance to passengers and operators published today, we can all play our part by following the advice and reducing pressure on public transport.
"If we take these steps, all those who need to use public transport should feel confident that they can do so safely, with the space to maintain social distancing as far as possible."