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England to make face coverings compulsory on public transport

13 Comments
By David Milliken

Face coverings will be compulsory for passengers on buses, trains, aircraft and ferries in England from June 15, as public transport use rises following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday.

Britain's government has been reluctant to mandate the widespread use of face masks or coverings so far, but Shapps said the benefits were clearer on public transport, where social distancing is harder.

"The evidence suggests that wearing face coverings offers some, albeit limited, protection, against the spread of the virus," he told a daily COVID-19 news conference.

"That doesn't mean surgical masks, which we must keep for clinical settings, it means the kind of face covering you can easily make at home," he added.

Since the lockdown began on March 23, the government has told people to avoid non-essential use of public transport. While car traffic is back to almost three quarters of pre-lockdown levels, trains are currently only 10% full and buses outside London are running at about 20% capacity.

However, usage is expected to rise as more people return to work in the coming weeks.

The change was welcomed by transport workers' unions and scientific experts.

"The evidence for the use of face masks or face coverings has been accumulating and it is now widely accepted that ... they can contribute to decreasing the risk of transmission in the community," said Sian Griffiths, a retired professor who chaired Hong Kong's SARS inquiry.

People without face coverings will not be allowed to board public transport and will potentially face fines, though small children and people with disabilities or breathing difficulties will be exempt.

The rule only applies in England, though Shapps said he expected authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to take similar action.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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Bit late to the party, are we. Now that the virus is on the way out (and large outside gatherings are praised by the media), we suddenly hear about Corona chan again.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Reduce train congestion and help stop the spread of the virus.

Take a car to work.

It's good for the environment because you won't need to waste a disposable mask inside the enclosed, socially distant comfort of your own car.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

One terrorist attack, and they will make it illegal to wear face coverings on public transport

lets just go back to horse and carriage, shall we?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Take a car to work.

In major cities like London where would they park, pay the daily parking charges and also 15 pound a day congestion charge.

Will never be 100% of the people.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Business chance importing masks to the UK coming up!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

kurisupisu

Business chance importing masks to the UK coming up!

Didn't you post you had bought thousands of masks before the pandemic? Or maybe you donated them to your wife's hospital?

But how to export them without leaving the country.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How many agreeing with mandatory face coverings today were going blue in the face not so many years ago wanting to see face coverings in public banned even among those who wore them voluntarily?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How many agreeing with mandatory face coverings today were going blue in the face not so many years ago wanting to see face coverings in public banned even among those who wore them voluntarily?

the reason’s diffren’ now idn’t, lov?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

LOL. So all those uncertified and unqualified experts weeping at how silly masks are at the start of this pandemic were wrong?! How could it be that no qualifications or expertise could result in being hilariously and catastrophically wrong on every single topic? The non-professionals should know their place very clearly now.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The UK govt has really cocked up the small things that potentially make a big difference. Typically, as is always UK gov't response to subjugate the population, they rushed tough new laws through parliament but have dithered massively with simple but effective advice. It's really disappointing to see from afar.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

About bloody time.

This time of year can get quite stuffy on the tube, but a bit of discomfort is a small price to pay to keep the virus at bay(swater).

And as everything's tickety-boo, following the 1969 rules, one can safely alight at... Mornington Crescent!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wasn’t it Boris Johnson condemning Muslim women for wearing face coverings and comparing them to “post boxes” a short while ago?

How times change!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Four months too late.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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