Face coverings mandatory on public transport
From 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England. This includes on buses and coaches.
Transport minister, Grant Shapps, said the government will work with operators to make it mandatory for passengers to wear face coverings when using public transport in England. The government’s message still remains that wherever possible, people should continue to avoid public transport and walk, cycle or drive. It notes transport usage has been slowly increasing. The authority stressed passengers do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff.
Commenting on the announcement, CPT Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, said: “Buses are already safe to use as operators have introduced enhanced cleaning regimes alongside other measures including restricting capacity, but making face coverings mandatory will give more passengers the confidence to travel.
“We will need passengers to work with us and wear their own face covering to comply with this new requirement.
“We will also work with the Government on its implementation, including increasing capacity in the network and maximising the value of the bus in safely restarting our economy and daily life.”
Trade union Unite’s national officer for public transport, Bobby Morton, said: “This is the right move from the government. The wearing of face coverings has been shown to reduce transmission of Covid-19. It will improve safety for both drivers and passengers.
“With no imminent cure for Covid-19 or a vaccine becoming available, the wearing of face coverings on public transport should become the new normal.“In the short-term, the government should follow the lead of various parts of Yorkshire and London and impose a reduced maximum capacity on all buses to further reduce the danger of infection.
“Unite is committed to working with the government and bus operators to ensure that, as infection rates fall and the lockdown further eases and bus usage increases, passengers and drivers are not placed at risk.”