The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020
Commencement: 15 June 2020
These Regulations require individuals to wear face coverings whilst using public transport in England (i.e. buses, trains, trams, aircraft and water taxis) to protect against the risks to public health arising from Coronavirus (Covid-19).
These Regulations provide powers to police services and transport operators to deny a person access to a public transport service if they are not wearing a face covering, or to direct them to leave a public transport service if they do not wear a face covering when asked to do so.
A face covering is a covering of any type which covers a person’s nose and mouth (e.g. a mask, scarf, bandana etc.).
These Regulations expire on 15th June 2021.
Requirements to wear a face covering on public transport
Under these Regulations, a person using public transport services (i.e. buses, trains, trams, aircraft, water taxis) is required to wear a face covering at all times, except where a reasonable excuse is given.
Reasonable excuse to not wear a face covering
A person may not remove face coverings, except in the following circumstances:
- where that person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering due to any physical or mental illness/impairment or disability;
- where that person is aiding another person, who relies on lip reading to communicate;
- to avoid injury, or to escape risk of harm and does not have a face covering with them;
- it is necessary to eat or drink;
- to take medication; or
- where requested to remove a face covering by a relevant person (i.e. a police officer or the public transport operator).
The requirement to wear a face covering whilst on public transport does not apply to the following individuals:
- a child under the age of 11 years;
- an employee of a transport operator providing the service;
- an emergency responder acting in the course of their duty (e.g. fire rescue services, medical services, police services etc.); or
- a person who is permitted to board a public transport vehicle when not in service.
Offences and penalties
An adult (i.e. aged 18 years or above) may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 for failing to wear a face covering. If paid within 14 days, the penalty is reduced to £50.
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