In line with new Government regulations on the wearing of face coverings on public transport from Tuesday 30 November, Transport for London (TfL) is reminding all customers travelling on the TfL transport network that they must wear face coverings for the duration of their journeys or risk being fined, unless they are exempt.
The Government has confirmed that face coverings will become compulsory again on public transport and in shops across the country in order to help prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Since the Government removed the national requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, face coverings have remained mandatory on TfL services under TfL’s
This means that customers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, including on transport services, in stations and on platforms, unless they are exempt. Additionally, face coverings should be worn by everyone in taxi and private hire vehicles for the duration of their journey. Exemptions include people who have trouble breathing, children and anyone who finds it difficult to manage face coverings correctly.
TfL’s 500 uniformed enforcement officers and TfL’s police partners will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation. Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine. Since the original national rules ceased to apply on 19 July, TfL has continued to require customers to wear a face covering. The change to Government regulations today means that officers will once again be able to issue penalty notice fines of up to £200 to those who refuse to comply.
Customers are reminded to treat everyone on the network with respect and compassion, and to understand that some customers and staff will be unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or other permitted reasons that may not be immediately obvious.
Scientific advice suggests that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus, they can help prevent someone who is infected from infecting others and thus help control the virus.
To support the reintroduction of national regulations, TfL is also handing out face coverings at key locations across the capital for a short time to help Londoners do the right thing and keep each other safe. Alternatively, face coverings can be purchased at a number of local shops or online.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:“Evidence shows that mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid. I welcome the Government’s announcement that face coverings are now compulsory in shops and on public transport nationwide, as they already are across the TfL network. This is a measure I have long been calling for.
“Provided with proper enforcement powers, TfL will now be able to work with policing partners and really boost compliance on the network, with the selfish few who refuse to wear a face covering facing a penalty fine, rather than just being denied entry to transport services. TfL enforcement officers will continue to monitor compliance across the network to keep passengers and staff as safe as possible.”