Face coverings compulsory on public transport again
Face coverings will be compulsory to wear onboard public transport in England from tomorrow (Tuesday).
The return of the coronavirus restriction is in response to the discovery of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19. Additionally, all travellers arriving into the country will now be required to take a PCR test on or before day two and self-isolate until they have received a negative test result.
“As they have throughout the pandemic, we expect passengers will work with operators to ensure passengers can travel safely” – CPT spokesperson
A spokesperson from CPT said: “Operators will be communicating to passengers that it now a legal requirement to wear a face covering unless exempt and reminding them of their responsibility to comply with this change of approach, which the police will enforce. As they have throughout the pandemic, we expect passengers will work with operators to ensure passengers can travel safely.
“People can still have the confidence to travel by bus with measures to improve ventilation and tools such as apps to allow customers to see how busy their bus is in place.”
“The job of enforcing mask wearing is that of the bus operator and the police” – Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton
Commenting on the government’s announcement, Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton, said: “The government has got to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It is not sufficient to announce that face masks will once again become compulsory, this policy has got to be fully enforced in order to protect public health.
“The government’s previous inconsistent messaging on face mask wearing is almost certainly going to result in a high degree of non-compliance.
“Unite’s advice to bus drivers is clear it is not their role to enforce mask wearing, their responsibility is to safely drive and operate the bus. The job of enforcing mask wearing is that of the bus operator and the police.
“Unite has consistently warned that the requirement to wear face masks should never have been removed, while rates of Covid-19 remained high. It is only the arrival of the new variant which has forced the government to act.”
“We support the wearing of masks but there are major issues about enforcement” – General Secretary, Mick Lynch
General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “We support the wearing of masks but there are major issues about enforcement and it’s our members left in the front line with angry passengers who refuse to comply.
“The Government must make the resources available to properly police this reintroduction of compulsory face coverings on our transport services.
“We also need to end this disjointed approach to Covid measures and get some consistency that avoids the chaos and confusion that has become a hallmark of this administration.”