THE PUBLIC will be forced to wear masks on all public transport from Monday 15 June or will face fines, Grant Shapps announced tonight.
Masks will be made mandatory for anyone in England wanting to use tube tube, bus or a train.
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Travellers will be refused boarding if they are not wearing one, or told to get off.
The new rules will apply on trains, tubes, buses, ferries and planes. But people won’t have to wear them inside railway stations or bus terminals.
Mr Shapps said tonight: “I can announce that as of Monday 15 June, face coverings will become mandatory on public transport.
“The evidence suggests that wearing a face masks offers some, limited protection.
“You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and you could be fined.
“It’s a condition of travel. You cannot travel if you are not wearing a face covering.”
A fresh nationwide advertising campaign will be launched in the coming days to let me people know of the new rules.
There will be exemptions for anyone with breathing difficulties and young children.
British Transport Police wil be asked to enforce the rules, and staff in stations will have to wear them too.
Ministers think that as more people return to work, they want to limit the spread of the disease wherever possible.
But it is understood that there has been no new scientific evidence to SAGE – the Government’s group of scientific advisers.
The news came as:
- Ministers changed official advice to say that kids under three should not wear a mask
- Nicola Sturgeon said she was considering making it mandatory to wear masks in shops
- Here’s our guide to how to make one at home
- And where you can buy one online
The Department of Health said previously that after considering the latest scientific advice from SAGE, face coverings can help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
They stressed that the evidence shows face coverings can stop you passing coronavirus on to others, if you are asymptomatic or have yet to develop symptoms.
It’s unlikely they will stop you catching the bug.
The news comes after Brits were advised last month to start wearing a mask if they could not stay more than 2m away from someone else in a space.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan had been pushing to make them compulsory on tubes and buses in the capital.
People won’t have to wear surgical grade masks like nurses and doctors should be wearing on the front line.
They will be expected only to cover up using a home-made or cloth face mask instead.
The guidelines state that children under the age of two should not wear masks, nor should anyone who may find it difficult to manage them safely. This includes primary age children and those with respiratory conditions.
The Government also warned that for face coverings to be effective, people must wash their hands before putting them on and taking them off.
Masks aren’t necessary if you’re outside, while exercising, at schools or in offices.
The news came as Nicola Sturgeon admitted Scotland is considering forcing people to wear masks in shops.
The Scottish First Minister today revealed earlier that the plan was under consideration as it could help protect others around those in face coverings.
Speaking at her daily press conference, Ms Sturgeon was asked if the Scottish Government could make wearing a face covering mandatory.
She replied: “Yes, it is under consideration. I said when I announced the policy some weeks back that we would keep this under review.”
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