Face coverings made compulsory on public transport

From this week, everyone using public transport in England will be required to wear a face covering. Under the new rules, transport operators will have the power to prevent passengers who refuse to heed the new protocol from travelling. Police will also be able to issue those people with fines of up to £100.

Exemptions for the use of face coverings apply to individuals with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under 11 years old.

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. The public has been asked not to use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff.

Announcing the new rules Friday, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has unlocked a community spirit right across our nation, and we now need to extend this to our transport network so we can help keep one another safe.

"If you do need to travel, in the same way that you would pick up your phone, wallet or keys when you leave the house, please remember to bring a face covering."

More than 3,000 extra staff from the British Transport Police, Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and Transport for London will be deployed to help initiate the new protocol, support vulnerable passengers and provide some coverings at busier stations across the country.

The regulations will be made under the Public Health Act 1984 and will apply to trains, buses, coaches, trams, ferries and aircraft; different operators will be allowed their own specific conditions.

The move coincides with the planned easing of certain lockdown measures, including the reopening of non-essential retail stores. Under the Government's ongoing lockdown measures, however, people are still being asked to avoid taking public transport where possible, and to continue to maintain social distancing.

COVID-19: In numbers (Source: UK Government)

As of 0900 on 12th June, there have been 6,434,713 tests, with 193,253 tests on 11th June.
292,950 people have tested positive.

As of 1700 on 11th June, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, across all settings, 41,481 have died, with 202 deaths in the prior 24 hours.

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