Public Transport: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour, Salford and Eccles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the (a) general publicity regarding the new covid-19 travel regulations and passenger compliance, (b) obligation on customers to wear a face covering on public transport, (c) requirement on operators to engage, encourage and explain the new regulations to their service users and (d) enforcement action against non-compliant passengers.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

When we introduced this policy, the Secretary of State was clear that the early stages would focus on communications rather than enforcement. We are working with transport operators to ensure they are disseminating key messages to their staff and passengers, including making the exemptions clear to disability groups (Safer Transport Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators).

Our approach has achieved high levels of compliance. ONS data for the week following implementation showed 84% saying they are wearing face coverings on public transport. Our guidance clearly sets out the role of operators, the police and TfL authorised enforcement officers. While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines for those who fail to wear a face covering

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