From 15 June onwards, it is compulsory for people to wear face covers while on public transport in the whole of England.
It is now a policy to wear a face mask when you travel within England on a:
- coach or bus
- tram or train
- boat, ferry, water taxi, hovercraft or any other vessel
- cable cars
Brighton & Hove Buses including Metrobus encourage everyone to obey brand new regulations on government and put on a face mask or any face covering before boarding a bus, unless they are exempted from using one.
Exclusions involve children under 11 years, persons with certain diseases which may aggravate if face is covered and people with disabilities.
Martin Harris, the Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses, said that there was justifiable unpredictability about the new rules, which were only hours old, but he greatly advised everyone who could don a face cover to adopt the current regulation.
“Commuters with ‘disability concessionary passes’ may use theirs as usual and those with a Helping Hand Card can present them to the driver once they embark, but the company maintains that this is not a necessity.”
Mr. Harris said travelers would need to wear their face masks to cover their mouths and noses safely, but that may be anything as easy as a cloth bandana or a scarf. A guide on creating your own face covering is available on the government’s site.
“It is also a crucial component of the measures to allow people to travel safely, alongside preparing in advance to avoid the highest traffic journeys, strict standards of frequent cleaning, passenger limits on every bus, avoiding cash payments if possible as well as plenty of bus routes in service.”
The new regulations do not require bus drivers to wear the full covers while inside the vehicle, although some would do so. They are fully behind the screen while driving, protecting both the passengers and driver himself. But, if the driver needs to go outside of the bus and be nearer to the general public, like when assisting a person in a wheelchair, they will have to wear a face mask provided by the company.
Taxis and Uber
While you must wear a face mask when traveling by commuter train, a bus, a tram, boat, or other water vessels, planes, or cable cars, the latest regulations do not apply to taxi cabs or private hire automobiles.
Cab drivers could well be entitled to refuse any passenger if they are not donning a face cover, and also some high-profile taxi service providers have created new customer guidelines.
The main tip is to verify the regulations of a taxi or a car-sharing company before making the journey.
Uber newly announced that drivers and riders should wear face protectors throughout the United Kingdom.
Passengers and vehicle drivers will be permitted to cancel a trip without a heavy fine if the other party does not wear a face cover.
Drivers will be asked to submit a picture of themselves to confirm that they are complying with the new policy before they could even start working. Along with that they will be asked to verify that they have carried additional protection and safety measures, including the regular sanitizing of the vehicles and frequent washing of hands.
“We have been advising people for months to stay home, for their protection, and for the safety of the drivers who make essential trips, Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe at Uber’s.
“Now, as cities and communities continue to reopen, we take steps to ensure that every time they use Uber everyone is safe and secure.”
What other precautions should be taken?
These safety rules are recommended by the Department of Transportation:
- You may be told to sit on the left-back passenger seat when you are traveling alone.
- If possible, you could also pay thru contactless payment or you should consider paying in advance online.
- Beware of the surfaces you are touching. Be mindful that you don’t touch your face and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use the insides of your elbow while sneezing or coughing.
- Once you complete your trip, wash your hands with water and soap or any disinfectant for a minimum of 20 seconds or sanitize your hands as early as possible.
- Keep 2 meters away from others on your journey, practice social distancing.