Covid: Bus and train firms must decide whether to require masks
Covid-19 / Tue 13th Jul 2021 at 07:12am
THE government has said bus and train companies must decide whether passengers will be required to wear face coverings on their services from Monday, when Covid rules are relaxed reports the BBC.
Face masks have been mandatory on public transport for the past year to reduce the spread of the virus.
But those rules will be replaced with government guidance advising passengers to wear masks only on busy services.
Transport firms will be left to decide whether to enforce that advice and how.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said masks would still be “recommended” on public transport, but people without a face covering would no longer be fined after restrictions are eased on 19 July.
Nevertheless, bus and train companies will still be able to turn away passengers who refuse to wear one – unless they are exempt.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “up to them” to decide whether to make face coverings compulsory for passengers.
egally require people to wear masks on public transport.
His comments came as Labour criticised the government’s approach to unlocking in England as “high risk” and “fatalistic”.
While virtually all legal restrictions in England will be lifted on Monday, some guidance will remain.
There will no longer be any limits on how many people can meet and the 1m-plus distancing rule will be removed.
Nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen for the first time since March 2020 and capacity limits will be removed for all venues and events.
But nightclubs and other venues with large crowds will be encouraged to use Covid status certification – so-called domestic vaccine passports – “as a matter of social responsibility”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
Government guidance to work from home where possible will be lifted, but ministers are encouraging a gradual return to the workplace.
On face coverings, Mr Johnson said: “We expect and recommend that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.”
Asked if Monday’s rule changes were irreversible, as has been repeatedly stated, Mr Johnson said he hoped they were but “we must rule nothing out”.
And in the Commons, Mr Javid said the government will “have a review” in September “to make sure that we’re properly set up for autumn and for winter”.
I am a firm believer that face masks and social distanceing should still happen! With only 55% of Harlow people vaccinated and 70% needed it makes ao much sense to continue if only to get us through this year. For all our sakes, young and old we much pull together 💪💪💪