New rules requiring passengers to wear face coverings on their journey will come into force on public transport from Monday.
The advice is clear that people should continue to avoid taking public transport where possible. But if you do need to use public transport you will be required to use face coverings.
Our government is asking passengers to play their part in helping to protect each other as the numbers of people travelling gradually start to rise.
The number of people travelling is due to increase as a result of the careful easing of restrictions when it’s safe to do so.
Over 3,000 extra staff from British Transport Police, Network Rail, Train Operating Companies will be deployed from Monday at key transport hubs.
Their role is to provide dedicated reassurance, advice and friendly assistance to people as they follow social distancing guidance.
They will also support existing staff by helping to manage congestion.
Alongside this, hundreds of thousands of face coverings will be handed out for passenger use at many locations across the rail network in England from Monday.
This is a one-off initiative, which will run for several days at a number of stations. It will see coverings provided free of charge to support passengers and help them travel safely.
Under the changes, operators will be able to stop passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and direct them to leave services.
The police and authorised personnel will also be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £100, or £50 if paid in 14 days.
Exemptions for the use of face coverings will apply to those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11.
The Regulations, which will be made under the Public Health Act 1984 and come into force on Monday, will make face coverings mandatory on buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains.
In addition, some operators will amend their conditions of carriage, allowing them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel, meaning they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them.
The change from Monday will coincide with the easing of certain lockdown measures, including the reopening of non-essential retail stores.
While social distancing and handwashing remain by far the most important disease prevention measures, when necessary to use public transport, people may be more likely to be in enclosed spaces for longer periods of time where we know there is a greater risk of the spread of the virus and social distancing is likely to be difficult to follow consistently.