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£200 fines to be issued to public transport users who fail to comply with face-covering regulations

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Image credit : Pixabay

London's transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), have confirmed that passengers who fail to comply with the Government's latest guidelines, which state face-coverings must be worn on public transport, risk being hit with a £200 fine.

From Tuesday 30 November, mandatory face-coverings were reintroduced for all passengers to be worn for the duration of their journeys unless they are exempt.

The Government announced the compulsory measures again on public transport and in shops across the country in order to help prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in the UK.

Since the Government removed the national requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, face coverings have remained mandatory on TfL services under TfL's condition of carriage but enforcement powers under these conditions were highly limited.

This means that customers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, including on transport services, in stations and on platforms, unless they are exempt.

Additionally, face coverings should be worn by everyone in taxi and private hire vehicles for the duration of their journey. Exemptions include people who have trouble breathing, children and anyone who finds it difficult to manage face coverings correctly.

TfL's 500 uniformed enforcement officers and TfL's police partners will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation.

Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine.

Image credit : Pixabay

Since the original national rules ceased to apply on 19 July, TfL has continued to require customers to wear a face covering. The change to government regulations today means that officers will once again be able to issue penalty notice fines of up to £200 to those who refuse to comply.

Customers are being reminded to treat everyone on the network with respect and compassion, and to understand that some customers and staff will be unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or other permitted reasons that may not be immediately obvious.

TfL say that scientific advice suggests that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus, they can help prevent someone who is infected from infecting others and thus help control the virus.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Evidence shows that mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid. I welcome the Government's announcement that face coverings are now compulsory in shops and on public transport nationwide, as they already are across the TfL network. This is a measure I have long been calling for.

"Provided with proper enforcement powers, TfL will now be able to work with policing partners and really boost compliance on the network, with the selfish few who refuse to wear a face covering facing a penalty fine, rather than just being denied entry to transport services. TfL enforcement officers will continue to monitor compliance across the network to keep passengers and staff as safe as possible."


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