Passengers on public transport must wear face coverings from today

No mask, no ride! Thousands of Tube, bus and train passengers in England MUST wear a face-covering from today or risk being refused entry or a £100 fine

  • New rules come into place today for passengers on all public transport, including trains, planes and buses
  • Thousands of extra staff, including police officers, are being bought in to enforce the government’s new rule
  • It comes as coronavirus lockdown measures continue to be eased, with high street shops set to open today 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Passengers on public transport across England must wear a face-covering from today or risk being turned away, or being slapped with a £100 fine.

Strict new laws regarding face coverings on public transport come into play today – with 3,000 extra staff, including police officer, being brought in to enforce the rules.

They apply to all passengers on trains, buses, Tubes, coaches, trams, planes or ferries.

Children under the age of 11 and those with certain health conditions or disabilities are exempt.

The rules come as the government eases its draconian lockdown laws in place of looser restrictions, which included allowing people to meet with friends inside a ‘social bubble’ – which was brought in at the weekend. 

Non-essential shops are also set to open today for the first time since March when the lockdown rules were imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Passengers on public transport across England must wear a face-covering from today or risk being turned away, or being slapped with a £100 fine

Strict new laws regarding face coverings on public transport come into play today – with 3,000 extra staff, including police officer, being brought in to enforce the rules

It also comes changed its stance on the use of face masks, which they say should now be compulsory on public transport – bringing the rules in-line with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘People should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. But, as restrictions are carefully eased when it is safe to do so, it’s likely that we will see more people needing to use public transport.

‘So, while respecting social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene remain the most important steps we can all take to stay safe, wearing a face covering can play a role in helping us to protect each other.

‘This is about the small changes we can take to help control the virus, which is why I urge everyone using transport to wear a face covering, to help keep us all safer.’

The new rules, which come as experts predict transport capacity to rise to 20 per cent on the railways next month, only apply while in transit, rather than while waiting.

The strict new rules on face coverings on public transport apply to all passengers on trains, buses, Tubes, coaches, trams, planes or ferries

The new rules, which come as experts predict transport capacity to rise to 20 per cent on the railways next month, only apply while in transit, rather than while waiting

Passengers are also encouraged to social distance and wash their hands, while the government still recommends people to work from home where possible

They do not apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – where their governments are only recommending people cover their faces on public transport.

Passengers are also encouraged to social distance and wash their hands, while the government still recommends people to work from home where possible. 

Today’s new public transport rule comes in as Boris Johnson urged the country to return to the high street and ‘shop with confidence’ when non-essential stores reopen today with huge price cuts.

The Prime Minister said he was ‘very optimistic’ that the lifting of restrictions would help the economy bounce back from three months of coronavirus lockdown.

Stores including Zara, John Lewis and Debenhams have slashed prices by as much as 70 per cent in a bid to lure shoppers back. Desperate fashion chains are sitting on as much as £15billion of unsold stock they are keen to shift.

Speaking during a visit to the Westfield shopping centre in east London yesterday, the PM said he hoped to see a ‘gradual’ build-up of people visiting the high street.

‘I am very optimistic about the opening up that’s going to be happening,’ he said.

‘I think people should shop and shop with confidence but they should of course observe the rules on social distancing and do it as safely as possible.’

Last night it emerged that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering a VAT cut to stimulate spending following concerns that social-distancing rules and anxious shoppers will keep sales figures low, The Times reports.

Furthermore, half of Britain’s shoppers could avoid the high street tomorrow with four in ten spending less money than they did pre-lockdown, according to a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph.

Just 40 per cent said they were up for going back to clothing shops while half said they were ‘uncomfortable’ about it, sparking further concerns for the future of retailers who struggled to stay afloat in the coronavirus crisis.

Outlets will offer hand sanitiser stations and many will enforce infection control by quarantining unbought items for 72 hours after they have been handled.

Store martials in high-vis jackets and PPE will ensure shoppers are kept two metres apart, browsing and handling items will be discouraged and there will be a plea not to use cash. There will also be limits on the numbers allowed through the door, which means queues are likely.

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