Face coverings are to become essential for people using public transport in England from Monday 15 June. New rules Who should wear a face mask or face covering?
What are the new rules?The moves to compulsory face coverings on buses, trains, ferries and planes will coincide with a further easing of lockdown restrictions.
From 15 June, ministers want more non-essential retailers to open and some secondary school pupils to return to classes. This could put more pressure on public transport, and make social distancing more difficult.
Announcing the new rules, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stressed people should:
Continue working from home if they can do so
Avoid public transport if they can’t work from home
Avoid the rush hour if they have to take public transport
Some passengers will be exempt from the new rules:
Those with breathing difficulties
What’s the current advice?
Until now the government advice in England has said you should wear face coverings:
- On public transport and in some shops, where social distancing can’t be observed
- In other enclosed spaces where you come into contact with others you don’t normally meet
It also stresses that personal face coverings:
- Do not replace social distancing – which should still be observed
- Should not be confused with surgical masks or respirators, which should be left for healthcare staff and other workers who need them
- Should not be worn by very young children or people who have problems breathing while wearing a face covering