For those of you who haven’t been face-covering shopping yet, now is a good time, as the UK brings in a requirement to wear a face-covering when using public transport.
The requirement and legislation will go into effect today – on the 15th of June. The move is timed as non-essential shops reopen in England on Monday.
The law applies to England, but Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have their individual implementations of the legislation.
In England, you are required to wear a mask on any of the following forms of transport:
- Underground Train
- Cable car
The face-covering must cover your mouth and nose. Failure to wear a face-covering will result in you breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.
A face covering should be worn in enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, such as at stations, interchanges, ports and airports and in taxis and private hire vehicles. I
And for those who are thinking they can get away without a face mask in a taxi – a taxi driver is entitled to refuse to accept you for travelling you are not wearing a face covering. Uber and Ola have implemented policies to that effect.
There are exceptions to the rules regarding wearing face masks, including:
- Children under 11
- People with disabilities
- People with breathing difficulties
- Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading
A full exemption list is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#face-coverings
Meanwhile, in Wales and Northern Ireland, you are required to wear a face-covering where social distancing isn’t possible – including Public transport. In Scotland, it is recommended to consider wearing face coverings certain circumstances – such as on public transport.
The World Health Organisation has advice on face masks and coverings is at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-and-masks. Their overall advice for fabric face masks:
Non-medical, fabric masks are being used by many people in public areas, but there has been limited evidence on their effectiveness and WHO does not recommend their widespread use among the public for control of COVID-19. However, for areas of widespread transmission, with limited capacity for implementing control measures and especially in settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments – WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to use non-medical fabric masks.
The advice for from the UK Government is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Get a face covering. Wear it when outside.
It’s pretty simple: If you intend to travel and use public transport – Wear a face covering.
For those who are struggling, so far I’ve spotted face masks on sale at:
- Poundland (disposable and reusable)
- Tesco (disposable)
- M&S (disposable)
And of course, on Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Yes. Even Poundland has them for £2 a pop. They also have two-packs of paper ones for £1. There’s minimal excuse to obtain or wear one at this time.
Of course, you can make your own. HM Government has a guide at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering, The BBC demonstrates three methods of making them.
And here’s a great one you can make with a T-shirt and a pair of scissors.
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