Ahead of the lifting of Government restrictions on Monday 19 July, Transport for London (TfL) has announced customers must continue to wear a face covering on TfL services for the duration of their journey unless they are exempt.
The transport regulators says they expect and recommend the continued use of face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles by both drivers and passengers unless they are exempt.
The extension to the requirement also covers London Underground, London Buses, London Trams, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail. The exemptions that exist under the current regulations will remain unchanged.
Customers not wearing a face covering may be refused entry or asked to leave the network. TfL have said they will not tolerate any abuse of its customers or staff and will work with the police to prevent such behaviour and take action where necessary.
TfL’s specially trained enforcement officers, who patrol the transport network to ensure customers and colleagues remain safe, will continue to run targeted operations. TfL’s frontline staff at gate lines and bus drivers will also continue to remind people that face coverings are a requirement. The MPS and BTP will continue to provide a visible presence on the TfL network to deter crime and anti-social behaviour.
Research carried out by YouGov shows that 68 per cent of people support the retention of face coverings on public transport at this point in the pandemic and that face coverings play an important role in giving people confidence to use public transport. TfL customer research from 2 May to 29 May 2021 shows that 86 per cent of customers say they are wearing face coverings at all times on TfL public transport services. Of the 14 per cent not wearing a face covering at all times or not at all, almost three-quarters (75 per cent) have an exemption or good reason under the regulations for not doing so.
Andy Byford, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “I would like to thank the vast majority of people using our services who have followed the rules and helped control the virus and keep each other, and our staff, safe. I urge everyone to continue to follow the advice and requirements, including to wear face coverings while traveling on our network, so that we can continue to build confidence, and get back to the many wonderful things about London that we have missed during the pandemic.
“The transport network is cleaner than ever, with an enhanced cleaning regime, hospital grade cleaning products, widely available hand sanitiser and UV light fittings on escalator handrails to kill viruses. It is great news that regular independent testing for the virus by Imperial College has found no trace on our services, and we are now ready to safely welcome back more and more customers from 19 July as people head out to enjoy all that the capital has to offer.”