From the 15th June 2020, it is compulsory for everyone travelling on public transport in England to wear a face covering.
What is the rule around face masks?
The UK government recently updated its advice regarding the use of face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus, due to a sharp increase of people using public transport in order to commute back to work. The new government guidelines are now in sync with the World Health Organization’s advice.
The new rules apply to England and require anyone travelling by bus, coach, train, tram, Tube, ferry or plane to cover their face while on board.
They exclude school transport, taxis and private hire vehicles – whilst Uber has made face coverings compulsory for its passengers and drivers.
- Children under the age of 11, disabled people and people with certain health issues are to be exempt from the rule.
- Hospital visitors and outpatients must also wear face masks.
The main focus of the new measures is to help stop and reduce the asymptomatic people transmitting the virus on to others and also act as a visible reminder of the need for distancing and hygiene measures such as handwashing.
How will the rule be enforced?
The government announced that under new conditions, fines may be issued for anyone seen to be flouting the face-covering rule.
People not wearing a mask or face covering will be asked to wear one or could be refused access to public transport and fined £100.
Some stations are handing out free disposable masks, while announcements and signage remind commuters of the new rules in force.
Over 3,000 extra staff, including police, have been deployed at stations to enforce the new rules.