Tuesday 9th June 2020
New Face Covering Regulations Explained

It was announced last week that face coverings will become compulsory on public transport from 15th June 2020.

With the easing of lockdown expected to be further relaxed on 15th June 2020, there is a high potential of more people travelling by public transport as non-essential retailers start to re-open across the North East.

From this date, the UK Government will make these changes under current laws which include the National Rail Conditions of Carriage for travel by train and Public Service Vehicle Regulations for buses. While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, and use their own common sense to ensure the safety of them and others; operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines for those who fail to wear a face covering and they will also be supported by the British Transport Police.

A press statement by the UK Government says "Social distancing and hand washing remain by far the most important disease prevention measures but it is also vital all passengers travelling on buses, coaches, trains, trams, ferries and aircraft should wear a face covering and the government will also work with operators to ensure staff are provided with, and wear face coverings, where appropriate for their role."

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."

A face covering is NOT the same as a face mask, as long as it covers your nose & mouth it can be a cloth face mask that are available at some fashion retailers or it can be a scarf, head scarf or bandana, or a similar type of covering. We should NOT be taking medical graded face masks which are NOT required in these settings, these should be kept for medical professionals like the NHS who require these in specific settings. Last month the UK Government gave advice on how to make a simple and effective face covering at home, using things you already have in your home, to find out more on how to do it click here.

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