Who Should Wear a Face Mask or Face Covering from Today?

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Face coverings on public transport – and for hospital staff, outpatients and visitors – will be compulsory in England from today, Monday 15 June.

This is in line with new World Health Organization (WHO) advice. It says non-medical face coverings should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible.

What are the face covering rules on public transport?

Anyone travelling by bus, train, ferry or plane in England should wear a face covering from today – to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

The new rules coincide with a further easing of lockdown – including the return to class of some secondary school pupils and the reopening of non-essential shops.

The number of people using public transport is expected to increase.

The government stresses people should:

  • Continue home working if possible
  • Avoid public transport if they can’t work from home
  • Avoid the rush hour on public transport

Some passengers will be exempt from the new rules including:

  • Children under 11
  • People with disabilities
  • Those with breathing difficulties
  • Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading

If it is “reasonably necessary” for you to eat or drink you can remove the face covering to do so.

The rules will apply only on public transport – not while waiting – but the rail industry will ask people to cover their face as they enter a station.

People could be refused travel if they don’t follow the rules. They could also be fined, but this will be the last resort.

Public transport excludes cruise ships, school transport, taxis and private hire vehicles. 

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