Face coverings and travelling: When you need to wear them

 

This update covers the main changes in travel advice coming into force on Monday June 15 2020, with particular emphasis on face coverings, when you have to wear them and what exemptions there are (which include disability in some instances).

 

New Advice For June 15 Onwards

 

From 15 June 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on a bus, coach, train, plane, ferry, taxi or tram.

 

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.

 

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:

 

  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth.

 

How to wear and make a face covering.

 

 

You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. For example, at stations, interchanges, ports and airports and in taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you are not wearing a face covering.

 

Car sharing

If you normally share a vehicle with people from other households for essential journeys, we recommend you find a different way to travel so that you can maintain social distance. For example, consider walking, cycling or using your own vehicle if you can.

If you do have to travel with people outside your household try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

 

 

The law requiring you to wear a face covering on public transport applies while you are in England. All UK nations recommend wearing a face covering while travelling on public transport, so you should continue to wear one if travelling into Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from England. If travelling from any other UK nation, you will be required to wear a face covering when you enter England.

 

When you can remove your face covering

 

You should remove your face covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.

 

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering. For longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings.

 

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:

 

  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surgical masks

Surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) should continue to be reserved for people who need to wear them at work.

Face coverings are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.

 

 

 

 

 

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