New face covering rules 15 June Image Open Government Licence v3.0

Passengers that don’t follow the new rules on face coverings will be prevented from travelling

New rules requiring passengers to wear a face covering on their journey will come into force on public transport across England from Monday (15 June 2020).

Government advice is that people should continue to avoid taking public transport where possible. But by mandating the use of face coverings it is asking passengers to play their part in helping to protect each other as the numbers of people travelling gradually start to rise across the country.

Over 3,000 extra staff from British Transport Police, Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and Transport for London will be deployed from Monday at key transport hubs and interchanges across England. This, the government says, 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.

Also, an initiative, which run for several days at many stations across the rail network, will provide hundreds of thousands of face coverings for passenger use.

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 Transport for London 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.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“If you do need to travel, in the same way that you would pick up your phone, wallet or keys when you leave the house, please remember to bring a face covering.”

Some operators will amend their conditions of carriage to allow them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel. This means that they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them.

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. Medical grade PPE masks should not be used to ensure that these remain available for frontline staff.

Last month, the government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items. The change from Monday will coincide with the easing of certain lockdown measures, including the reopening of non-essential retail stores.