Facial Coverings on Public Transport Become Compulsory

Monday 15th June 2020 is the date when a further easing of the Government’s COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ restrictions means non-essential shops in Ruddington are permitted to reopen.

However, it’s also the day that wearing a facial covering becomes mandatory on all public transport – including Ruddington’s Green 10 (and soon the Navy 3) buses run by Nottingham City Transport.

This new requirement was announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, on June 4th to provide additional protection against the spread of Coronavirus as passenger numbers slowly start to increase. If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

The operator says additional signage is now in place on its buses to reinforce the wearing of facial coverings – alongside on board audio announcements and messages at bus stops to raise awareness.

However, some passengers are exempt from wearing a facial covering, and these are people with:

  • breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions
  • conditions effecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering
  • mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders
  • other non-visible disabilities such as autism
  • cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering
  • visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view
  • impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.

In addition, the following people are also exempt:

  • those who rely on lip reading, including carers who are travelling with someone for whom a face covering will inhibit communication
  • children aged under 11

The wearing of a facial covering remains optional for bus drivers when in their enclosed cab, since it provides a physical barrier between customers and drivers. The ventilation holes in the driver screens have been covered for enhanced protection. The measures come just a couple of weeks ahead of the resumption of full NCT timetables – making ‘social distancing’ easier – and the introduction of its ‘Bus Capacity Checker’ enabling passengers to choose quieter buses, if they possibly can.

NCT’s Navy 3 Ruddington services will resume on June 29th

Official Government guidance points out that face coverings are not the same as face masks: “It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff. Last month, the government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items.”

Anthony Caver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager, says: “Travelling by bus is safe when you follow the Safer Travel Guidance and the government’s new mandatory requirement to wear a facial covering on public transport provides additional protection. Customers are responsible for sourcing their own facial covering and must wear it at all times on the bus, except if they are included on the list of government exemptions. Customers who are exempt should advise the driver upon boarding, either verbally or discreetly with one of our new Journey Assistance Cards”.

The operator emphasises facial coverings are one measure in place to keep customers and transport workers safe on buses, and passengers must fully familiarise themselves with its Safer Travel Guidance. This is available at www.nctx.co.uk/safertravel and you can download the new Journey Assistance Card >>HERE<<.

NCT’s latest travel guidance now includes the compulsory wearing of a face covering

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