You must wear face coverings on public transport from 15 June in England or risk a fine

Friday, 5th June 2020, 2:02 pm
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 2:04 pm
Wearing face coverings will be compulsory on public transport in England from 15 June, transport secretary Grant Shapps has said (Photo: Shutterstock)

Wearing face coverings will be compulsory on public transport in England from 15 June, transport secretary Grant Shapps has said.

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Where must face coverings be worn?

As passenger numbers are expected to increase when lockdown measures are eased further as part of phased plans, Mr Shapps said "every precaution" must be taken.

Coverings must be worn on buses, trains, trams coaches, aircraft and ferries.

However, the transport secretary said very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties would be exempt.

Mr Shapps also said that social distancing measures and regular hand washing were still the most important measures in order to prevent the disease spreading.

Surgical masks must also be kept for clinical settings and travellers should wear the kind of face covering that could be made at home.

Those travelling on public transport should cover the mouth and nose, and acceptable coverings include a scarf or bandana.

Rule comes into place on 15 June

The new compulsory rule for wearing face coverings on public transports coincides with the planned reopening of non-essential shops, alongside the return of some secondary school pupils in England from 15 June.

Mr Shapps said this would put "more pressure" on the public transport network.

Although the rule only applies to England, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her government was also considering whether to make it mandatory to wear face coverings in some situations.

Scotland currently recommends wearing coverings on public transport and in shops.

In Northern Ireland, people have been told to consider wearing face covering in places where they cannot observe social distancing. In Wales, face coverings have not yet been recommended for the general public.

Penalty fines

The government said that it expects the "vast majority" of the public to comply with the new changes set to come into place.

But operators will be able to issue penalty fines for those who do not. This will be in a similar way to people who travel without a ticket, with the British Transport Police helping to implement the new rules.

Network Rail chairman, Sir Peter Hendy, said at the Downing Street briefing, "I am expecting sensible passengers to do their duty and look after themselves and others.”