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Wearing of face coverings on Public Transport compulsory

Subject: Coronavirus emergency


The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 (2020 No. 592) come into force on 15 June 2020. The regulations require that any person using a public transport service must wear a face covering un less they have a ‘reasonable excuse’. The requirement does not apply to children under 11. Transport operators’ staff, pilots, inspectors and certain other officials are exempt, as are police constables on duty and emergency responders.

A ‘face covering’ does not have to conform to any type or material but must cover nose and mouth. “Public transport service” covers any service for the carriage of passengers from place to place which is available to the general public (whether or not for payment) including road, train, water and air transport in England and English territorial waters. It does not include any a school transport service, taxi or private hire vehicle service or a cruise ship.

The reasonable excuses for not wearing a face mask specifically set out are:

*  any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within s.6 Equality Act 2010);

*  without severe distress;

*  a lip reader accompanying a person who needs that service;

*  removal of face covering to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to

themselves or others;

*  removal of face covering if reasonably necessary to eat or drink;

*  removal of face covering to take medication.

There are enforcement powers and breach of the regulations can incur a fine if there is a prosecution or a fixed penalty of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.


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