Face masks on public transport are the next step in fighting the spread of coronavirus.
Unless you’re a key worker or are unable to work from home, you’ve probably not been using much public transport recently. If you have, you might have noticed that plenty of people are wearing masks; however, from June 15, that’s going to be a requirement for everyone using public transport in England, as one government minister revealed in today’s daily briefing.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps, speaking earlier today, stated that “every precaution” must be taken when travelling on public transport in the time of a pandemic, and as such, face masks and other facial coverings will become mandatory on June 15. Travel on trains, buses, aircraft, and ferries will all require the use of masks, as passenger numbers are expected to rise as lockdown measures begin to ease.
There’s plenty of scientific evidence that using face masks can reduce the risk of COVID-19 carriers spreading the disease to others, thus helping to keep the reproduction (or “R”) rate down. The only exemptions from this new rule are very young children, disabled people, and anyone with breathing difficulties. Fines will be handed out to those who fail to comply with the rule, Shapps said.
In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urging anyone using buses and tubes to wear a face mask for weeks now, but this is the first time that the guidance has been given the full backing of a government decree. So, if you’re travelling around the capital on public transport, don’t leave the mask at home.
Also published on Medium.